Sant Brynach - GrandTerrier

Sant Brynach

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1 Fiche signalétique

s. Brynach
Vie / Buhez : né en Irlande au 6e siècle, beau-fils du gallois Brychan, éponyme de Llanfrynach en Galles
Genre / Reizh : Masculin
Signification / Sinifiañs :
Variantes / Argemmoù : Brynach (Bretagne) -

2 Almanach

le 7 avril 2024 ~ d'an 7 a viz Ebrel 2024
Saint(e) du jour ~ Sant(ez) an deiz s. Brynach (né en Irlande au 6e siècle, beau-fils du gallois Brychan, éponyme de Llanfrynach en Galles)
Proverbe breton ~ Krennlavar Hennezh a oar kaozeal ken brav. Ma tennfe laezh gant un tarv. § [Trad]

Almanach complet : [Calendrier:Vie des saints]

3 Sources

4 Iconographie

église de St-Brynach à Cwm yr Eglwys
église de St-Brynach à Cwm yr Eglwys

5 Monographies

prénoms celtiques et bretons d'Albert Deshayes :


D'origine irlandaise, il aurait été le confesseur et le chapelain de Brychan, chef d'un petit royaume du sud-est du pays de Galles, auquel il laissera son nom, le Brycheiniog. Il en épouse l'une de ses files, dont il aura un fils, Berwyn, et trois filles, Mwynen, Gwenan et Gwenlliw.

Il part en pèlerinage à Rome, vient à bout d'un dragon et, sur le chemin du retour, s'arrête en Bretagne où il passe plusieurs années, sans que son séjoiur ne semble avoir laissé de trace. De retour en Galles, il aborde à Lilford Haven au moment où les Gallois chassent les colons irlandais. Mal accueilli, il trouve refuge à Llanfyrnach, en Penfro, dont il est l'éponyme. Puis, accompagné de disciples, il se dirige vers Nefern et gagne enfin le Brycheiniog, où il fonde Llanfrynach. Sa Vie ignore tout séjour en Devon, bien qu'il ait laissé son nom à Braunton, où il aurait été enterré. À Braunton, le saint est représenté en compagnie d'une truie sauvage blanche et de ses petits.

Site Early British Kingdoms :

St. Brynach
(Born c.AD 500)
(Welsh: Brynach; Latin: Brenacus; English: Brannock)

St. Brynach's background is shrowded in mystery. He is sometimes said to have been the son of a King of Calabria (in Italy), although this is unlikely. He was probably from Ireland since 'Bernach' is an Irish name and he is occasionally referred to as Brynach Wyddel (the Irishman). As a young man, he made a pilgrimage to Rome, where he defeated a ferocious serpent. Upon his return journey, he settled in Brittany, where he made efforts to evangelise the local population. He eventually moved on to Wales, floating on a stone (probably his portable altar) and landing at Milford Haven. He first travelled north-east to Llanboidy (Carmarthenshire) where he was denied lodgings by the locals and slept in a cow-shed. At Cilymaellwyd he recived the same treatment and was forced to shelter under a grey stone. Eventually he built himself a small hermitage at Llanfyrnach in Pembrokeshire. However, there he was the victim of a vicious spear attack by a woman whose advances he had rejected. Fortunately he was rescued by a passer-by and washed his wounds in a nearby well, thenceforth known as the 'Fons Rubeus'.

Brynach found a new home at Pont-faen on the River Gwaun but was soon driven away by demons. At Llwyn Henllan on the River Nevern, he tried to build a church, but the locals stole all his wood. Then an angel appeared announcing that this latter place was not for him. So, Brynach moved on to Nevern on the banks of the little River Caman. He introduced agriculture to the people and taught them how to yoke wild stags to the plough and to milk the hinds. He also chopped wood from the trees and had these deer draw it to the place where he built a church on the site of the present one. The local king, Clether, was so impressed by Brynach and his rhetoric that he gave up his throne in order to retire to Cerniw (Cornwall) as a Christian hermit. He gave Brynach all his lands and his twenty sons became his first disciples at the monastery which developed around his little church. He also founded the churches of Dinas and Newport (Pembrokeshire), near where he conversed with angels on Carningli.

Brynach had a fine cow which gave so much milk that it sustained all his monks. It was looked after by his tame wolf. However, one day King Maelgwn Gwynedd and his retinue arrived at Brynach's monastery, demanding food and entertainment. When Brynach refused them, they killed the cow and butchered it ready for cooking. However, the water would not boil and the King perceived that God was intervening on Brynach's behalf. He immediately apologised and tried to make amends. The magnanimous Brynach restored the cow to life and miraculously produced a magnificent spread - plucking bread from the trees - that Maelgwn freed Nevern Abbey from all taxation.

During his life at Nevern, he often moved around somewhat South Wales, founding churches as he went, including Llanfrynach in Brycheiniog and Llanfrynach and Penllin in Morgannwg. He became a great friend of St. Dewi who often visited him at Nevern. Once, Dewi arrived carrying a heavy highly-decorated stone cross-head. He was taking it to Llanddewi Brefi as a memorial to his achievements at the Synod held there in AD 545. However, Brynach persuaded Dewi to give it to him instead. He had an equally finely carved shaft made and mounted the cross on the top, installing it on the south side of Nevern Abbey Church. (The version there today is said to be a 10th century replacement).

Eventually, St. Brynach left Wales to try his luck in Dumnonia. He lived as a hermit at Braunton (North Devon) and it was there that he died on 7th January (according to his West Country adherents) and was buried in his church there. In Wales, however, his feast day is 7th April perhaps because this was traditionally the day on which the first cuckoo in the country is said to sing every year from the top of St. Brynach's famous cross in Nevern churchyard.

Site en.Wikipedia :


Saint Brynach was a 6th century Welsh saint. He is traditionally associated with Pembrokeshire, where several churches are dedicated to him.

A 12th century 'life' tells us that some time in the early 6th century, Brynach travelled (from where is unstated) to Rome and Brittany, and then on to Milford Haven. He erected various oratories near the rivers Cleddau, Gwaun, and Caman and at the foot of Mynydd Carningli (translated as 'Mountain of the Angels'), which was his most famous foundation. This monastery founded by Brynach was at present-day Nevern (in Welsh, Nanhyfer). The land was given to him by the local lord, Clether, who retired to Cornwall. Brynach was harassed by King Maelgwn of Gwynedd for a while, until he wrought miracles and the two came to terms. Saint Brynach died on 7 April, on which day his feast is celebrated. His church, overhanging the Nevern, is his lasting memorial. Details of Brynach's life seem to identify him with Saint Brannoc of Braunton in Devon, although his feast day is 7 January.

The "Life of St Brynach" portrays him as something of a wild fellow in his youth but very virtuous after his conversion. The descriptions of his adventures (including amorous and ghostly encounters) display a degree of humour unusual in the writers of saintly lives.

Brynach may be a form of the Irish name, Bernach. This has led to speculation that Saint Brynach came from Ireland. Iolo Morganwg, followed by Baring-Gould, supposed that he is the same as the chieftain 'Fernach' who came to Wales from Ireland with the young Brychan of Brycheiniog. However, Egerton Philimore rejects this identification. A 'Brennach Wyddel o'r Gogledd' or Brennach the Irishman of the North [of Britain] appears in the Welsh Triads. Rachel Bromwich does not believe Saint Brynach is meant and an Irish settler, perhaps from Galloway or Cumbria, is indicated.

Dedications of churches to Brynach in Pembrokeshire include Nevern, Dinas, Llanfyrnach, Henry's Moat and Pontfaen. In Carmarthenshire there are Llanboidy and a chapel in Llanddarog, and there are scattered dedications in Glamorgan, Brecknockshire and Monmouthshire. The distribution of these is similar to that of Ogham stones in south Wales, and defines a distinct Irish-influenced province that existed in the Age of the Saints[1].


  • Sabine Baring-Gould & John Fisher. (1907). Lives of the British Saints.
  • Rachel Bromwich. (2006). Trioedd Ynys Prydein: The Triads of the Island of Britain. Third Edition.
  • Egerton Philimore. (1906). Notes in George Owen's 'The Description of Pembrokeshire' (1603).

1. ^ E G Bowen, Saints, Seaways and Settlements, UoW Press, 1977, ISBN 0 7083 0650 0, page 105

Groupe Yahoo Celt-Saints :

St. Brynach of Carn-Engyle (the Irishman)
(Bernach, Bernacus, Brenach, Bryynach)

5th century. Brynach was an Irishman who settled in Wales, where he built a hermitage and a church at a place called Carn-Engyle (Mountain of Angels) overlooking the Nevern (Pembrokeshire). Traditionally, the place received its name because Brynach was in constant communication with the angels. His church became the principal church of the district. Some authors identify him with Saint Brannock of Braunton (f.d. January 7)

It is said that the first cuckoo of spring sings from the churchyard.

(Benedictines, D'Arcy, Montague, Moran).

Troparion of St Brynach Tone 2 : O holy Brynach, thou didst leave thy native Ireland/ to seek God in Pembroke's solitude./ As thou dost now stand before Christ our God,/ intercede with Him, we pray,/ that He may have mercy on us.