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Saint Petroc

Saint Petroc
  • Century: 6th Century
  • Patronage: Cornwall
  • Feast Day: June 4th

St. Petroc was a British Prince and Christian saint that is believed to have been born in South Wales.  He primarily ministered to the Britons of Devon and Cornwall, where he was founded a Monastery at Padstow, which is named after him, “Petroc’s Place”. Originally Padstow was the early place of his veneration, but Bodmin soon became the major place for his veneration when his relics were moved to the Monastery there in the later ninth century.  Bodmin Monastery became one of the wealthiest Cornish foundations by the eleventh century.  The earliest life of Petroc states that he was the son of a Welsh King.   

In Devon alone, ancient monasteries that were dedicated to him totaled seventeen, mostly coastal areas.  In Wales his name is commemorated at St. Petroc near Pembroke, Fewig near Cardigan and Llanbedrog on the Lleyn Peninsula.  He became a popular saint in Brittany by the end of the tenth century.  He studied in Ireland, where later he is said to have been the teacher of St. Kevin.  After studying, he began his mission to Cornwall.  The name of his first Monastery was Lanwethinoc.  He founded many churches in Little Petherick, Bodmin, and in many parts of Britain, Wales and Brittany.  He is credited with converting Constantine of Cornwall to Christianity, by saving a deer Constantine was hunting.  After thirty years of this work, he went on a pilgrimage to Rome by way of Brittany, the place of his eventual death.  

Along with St. Piran and St. Michael, he is one of the patron saints of Cornwall.  He is described as the “Captain of Cornish Saints”.  There are many legends about St. Petroc, all told this day.  One is that he could tame wolves by looking at them.  He is usually pictured with a buck deer, due to his converting Constantine of Cornwall.  His feast day is June 4th.  His relics are in St. Petroc’s Church, Bodmin.  His relics were thrown out during the English Reformation, but the beautiful ivory casket is still on public display at St. Petroc’s in Bodmin.  

Practical Take Away 

St. Petroc was a British Prince and Christian saint, and he is believed to have been born in South Wales.  He primarily ministered to the Britons of Devon and Cornwall, where he was associated with a Monastery at Padstow, which is named after him, “Petroc’s Place”.  He founded many churches in Little Petherick, Bodmin, and in many parts of Britain, Wales and Brittany.  He is credited with converting Constantine of Cornwall to Christianity, by saving a deer Constantine was hunting.  After thirty years of this work, he went on a pilgrimage to Rome by way of Brittany, the place of his eventual death.