Saint Mungo

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Saint Mungo is the commonly used name for Saint Kentigern (also known as Cantigernus (Latin) or Cyndeyrn Garthwys (Welsh)). He was the late 6th century apostle of the Brythonic Kingdom of Strathclyde in modern Scotland, and patron saint and founder of the city of Glasgow.



In Wales and the southern Brythonic regions of modern England, this saint is known by his birth and baptismal name: commonly Kentigern, more correctly Cyndeyrn. The name means 'chief prince'. The epithet 'Garthwys' is of unknown meaning. In Scotland and the Northern Brythonic areas of modern England, he is called by his pet name of Mungo, derived from Brythonic munghu, meaning 'dear one'.[2] An ancient church in Bromfield, Cumbria is named after him, as are Crosthwaite Parish Church and some other churches in the northern part of the modern county of Cumbria (historic Cumberland).


The 'Life of Saint Mungo' was written by the monastic hagiographer, Jocelin of Furness, in about 1185.[3] Jocelin states that he rewrote the 'life' from an earlier Glasgow legend and an old Gaelic document. There are certainly two other medieval lives: the earlier partial life in the Cottonian MSS.[clarification needed] in the British Library, and the later 'life', based on Jocelin, by John of Tynemouth.

Hagiographic life

Mungo's mother, Thenaw, also known as St. Thaney, was the daughter of the Brythonic king, Lleuddun (Latin, Leudonus), who ruled in the Haddington region of what is now Scotland, probably the Kingdom of Gododdin in the Old North. She became pregnant, after being seduced by Owain mab Urien according to the British Library manuscript. Her furious father had her thrown from the heights of Traprain Law. Surviving, she was then abandoned in a coracle in which she drifted across the River Forth to Culross in Fife. There Mungo was born.

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