St. Corentin (Cury)

12 December

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Died c. 490 (though some claim him for the 6th century); a second feast day on May 1 is probably in honour of his translation. There may be some confusion between Corentinus, first bishop of Cornouaille (Quimper), Brittany, and the saintly founder and patron of Cury (Corentin) on Lizard Island of Cornwall (died 401?) whose feast is also today, and whose cultus spread throughout southwestern England and Wales. This second was a hermit at the foot of Mount Menehont in Devonshire, who preached with great success and is said to have died there. They may be two people or one; however, in 1890, a fresco was discovered at Breage (the mother-church of Lizard), which depicts Saint Corentin/Cury in a cope and mitre with the pastoral staff of a bishop. Beside him is a fish, from which he was reputed to have cut and eaten one slice each day, without any diminution in the size of the fish.

The story that unites the two claims that Corentin was a Celtic hermit who retired to the forest of Plomodiern, where he lived in solitude for several years. After the death of Marcellus, who had subscribed to the first council of Tours, and the several other British bishops who migrated to Brittany, new pastors were needed for the British in Armorica who were familiar with the language and customs. Thus, Corentin was recruited and consecrated bishop by Saint Martin of Tours ((f.d. November 11), who had been dead for some time). It is said that Count Grallo I of Cornouaille (died c. 445) gave his palace at Quimper to serve as the home and cathedral of the new bishop. An ancient cross stands near his church. Corentin participated in the council of Angers in 453 and signed the canons under the name Charaton. He was said to have been a friend of Guennole (?).

Corentin's relics were translated to Marmoutier at Tours in 878 to protect them from destruction at the hands of the Normans (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).

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