Today (26 July) in the very quiet calendar of early saints (summer holidays? surely not!) we commemorate St Saeva (Sève, Seva, Seuve, Sev, Sew, Sewa, Segwo, Loeva, Loève, Loaven). Miss Dunbar provides, very briefly: ‘St. Seuve, SEVA or SEUVE of Lobineau, Nov. 30. Daughter of ST. COPAGIA and sister of St. Tugdual. B. Seve or SAEVA, July 26, nun at Langoal in Bretagne. Guerin. Perhaps same as Seuve.’
Miss Dunbar does not list St Copagia or Pompeia with her own feast day, so here is her story, which adds to that of her daughter Saeva; we will return to Tugdual himself in November.
St. Copagia, or POMPEIA, queen of Armorica. Born in the 5th, died in the 6th century. Wife of Hoel I., son and successor of Budic. Hoel and Copagia, with several children, took refuge at the court of their relation, King Arthur, in Great Britain. Hoel returned to his own country in 518, drove out the French, and recovered the kingdom. Soon afterwards he went again to England to help King Arthur, and there he died, in 545. Copagia spent more than half her life in England. Her sons, Tugdual and Leonor, were born there. On his father’s death, Tugdual, who was at the head of a monastery, resolved to return to his native country. His mother, his sister SEVA, and seventy-two monks went with him. They landed near the Conquet, in the parish of Ploumagoer, in Leon. Copagia’s eldest son, Hoel II., surnamed Jona, was now king. He gave his brother a piece of land in that neighbourhood, where he built a monastery. Tugdual travelled all over Brittany, teaching the people and performing miracles of charity, until, in every district of the country, people begged to have a few of his monks settled amongst them, and offered land and service to build suitable residences for them. The principal monastery that Tugdual built was at Trecor, now Treguier, and there he was so much esteemed that the inhabitants of the neighbourhood chose him for their bishop. Childebert, king of France, gave him the bishopric, and desired that he should come to Paris to be consecrated. This he did about 552. (Guerin, Petita Boll.)
Fille du roi Hoël et de sainte Pompée
Et sœur de saint Tugdual et de saint Lunaire,*
Tu fus vierge consacrée au Seigneur Jésus,*
Et tu te sanctifias sur la terre bretonne.*
Sainte Sève, qui es auprès du Christ vainqueur,*
Prie-Le afin qu’Il nous fasse grande mercy!
Daughter of King Hoel and St Pompeia,
And sister of St Tugdual and St Leonor,
You were a virgin consecrated to the Lord Jesus,
And attained a state of grace in the land of Brittany.
Saint Saeva, near to Christ the conqueror,
Pray to Him to have great mercy on us!