Posted by: anna | April 20, 2011

Great and Holy Wednesday and St Govan

Today is Great and Holy Wednesday of Holy Week. ‘Behold, the Bridegroom is coming in the middle of the night, and blessed is the servant whom He shall find awake and watching, but unworthy is he whom He shall find idle and careless. Beware, then, my soul, lest thou be weighed down with sleep, lest thou be given up to death and shut out of the Kingdom. But awake and cry: Holy, Holy, Holy, art Thou, O God: by the power of Thy Cross, save us.

In the calendar of early British saints for 7 April, we commemorate SS. Govan, Gwrnerth and Llewellyn, about whom I can discover really nothing much at all. Gwrnerth and Llewellyn were monks of Welshpool and Bardsey  (both? respectively? at different times?) in perhaps the 6th century. Govan may have been a man or a woman, or Sir Gawain, who lived very penitentially indeed in a crack in the sea cliffs, but in any case there is  St Govan’s chapel in Pembrokeshire and a ringing rock which is supposed to be a miraculous bell associated with Govan.

And how did a district of Glasgow come to be called Govan?

I sometimes think it would be much easier and perhaps more fruitful to find English material about the western saints M Lopez-Ginisty posts about than to follow the evidently pretty holey calendars of British saints…

Holy Govan, Gwrnerth and Llewellyn, pray to God for us.


  1. I've been to St. Govan's chapel! Absolutely picturesque; it reminds one of the beehive hermitages on Skellig Michael.

  2. Oooh, interesting. Holy St. Govan, pray to God for us.

    A Blessed Holy Wednesday.

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