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Saint Endelienta

The Collegiate Church of St Endellion

Born

c. 470 AD
South Wales

Died

unknown
Cornwall

Venerated in

Roman Catholicism,Anglicanism

Major shrine

St Endellion, Cornwall, England

Feast

29 April

Saint
Endelienta (also Endelient, Edellienta or E
ndellion) was a Cornish saint of the 5th and
6th century. She is believed to be 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. Legend says that 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.
Tradition makes her a daughter of
King Brychan,[1] of Brycheiniog in South Wales.
The village of Saint Endellion inCornwall,
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. The saint is believed to have been 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, which would later be
wrongly rededicated to Saint Helen. 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 meditation.
She lived at Trentinney as a hermit, where
legend says that 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 until the 16th century, while her
shrine at the Church of St Endellion was a site
of pilgrimage throughout the Middle Ages. It
was virtually destroyed during the English
Reformation, but the base survives to the
present day and can still be viewed.
The St Endellion Music Festivals take place
at Easter and in the Summer every year in the
Collegiate Church of St Endelienta.
In
2005
a
local
iconographer
was
commissioned to produce an icon of Saint
Endelienta, even though there were no known
images of her on which to base the work.
On 25 August 2010 it was announced that
British Prime Minister, David Cameron and his
wife Samantha had named their newborn
daughter Florence Rose Endellion after the

village of St Endellion, reflecting the fact she


was born while the Cameron family were
holidaying in Cornwall.