GREAT BRITAIN OF MY HEART
Hermit-Martyr of Lundy Island & Cornwall, England
(+6th ce.) – April 29
Saint Endelienta (also Endelient, Edellienta or Endellion) was a Cornish saint of the 5th and 6th century. She is a daughter of the Welsh King Brychan, and a native of South Wales who travelled to North Cornwall to join her siblings in converting the locals to Christianity. She was a goddaughter of King Arthur, and that she lived as a hermit at Trentinney where she subsisted on the milk of a cow. The saint is commemorated in the church and village of St Endellion which bear her name; Endellion being an Anglicised version of her name. Her feast day is 29 April.
She a daughter of King Brychan, of Brycheiniog in South Wales. The village of Saint Endellion in Cornwall, named after her, is from where she is said to have evangelized the local population. Two former wells near the village were named after her.
She is called “Cenheidlon” in Welsh records, with Endelienta being a Latinised form of the name. Her feast day is 29 April. Saint Endelienta was a native of South Wales who crossed the Bristol Channel to join her siblings in converting the people of North Cornwall to Christianity. During her journey, she initially landed on the island of Lundy, where she is believed to have founded a small chapel. She subsequently moved on to the mainland where she stayed with her brother, Saint Nectan, at Hartland, before eventually choosing to settle at Trentinney, south-west of the present day village of St Endellion, although she would return to Lundy from time to time on retreat for prayer.
Saint Endelienta lived at Trentinney as a hermit. She subsisted solely on the milk of a cow, and the water from two nearby wells. Her sister, St Dilic (whose church is at Landulph), settled nearby and the two would often meet along a certain path whose grass would ever afterwards grow greener than elsewhere.
The cow was killed by the Lord of Trentinney after straying onto his land. He in turn is said to have been killed by Endelienta’s Godfather, reputed to be King Arthur, after Arthur was angered by the deed and sent his men to exact revenge. However, Endelienta was said to be unhappy that Trentinney had been killed in her name, and restored the nobleman back to life.
Following a vision of her death, the saint is said to have asked that upon her death, her body should be placed on a sledge or cart drawn by bullocks, and that she should be buried at the place where they stopped. She is thought to have died on 29 April some time in the 6th century, and possibly at the hands of Saxon pirates. She was buried at the top of a hill, and a church built over her grave. The present church at St Endellion stands on that site.
A chapel dedicated to Saint Endelienta survived on the site of her hermitage at Trenteney.
Saint Endelianta is a Patron Saint of animals.
Orthodox Heart Sites
The Church of Saint Endelienta
in the village St Endellion, Cornwall, England, today
Village St Edellion, Cornwall, England
Lundy Island, Cornwall, England
St Endelienta’s Church in Lundy Island, today