St. Govan’s Chapel

St. Govan’s chapel is a 13th century chapel built into the face of a cliff over what legend says was the hermitage of St. Govan, a 6th century saint. The chapel is located on St. Govan’s head in Pembrokeshire, on the southeastern coast of Wales. We took one look at photos of St. Govan’s and knew we had to visit, if only because of the location itself. St. Govan was said to have been an Irish saint, who was chased to this particular spot by pirates. From within the church, it is possible to see a somewhat human-shaped crevice that is said to have formed in the rock specifically to save him from being discovered by the pirates. He felt his escape was miraculous and built his hermitage on the spot. St. Govan himself is said to be buried beneath Read more…

St. Cybi’s Well

St. Cybi’s Well is one of many sacred wells in Wales. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, this period of time in Wales is known as the Age of Saints. I also talked a little bit about how the church in the 6th century wasn’t organized in the same way as it is today. While there was officially only one ‘Church’, what we know today as the Catholic Church, the way people practiced Christianity in these early centuries after the death of Christ was different depending upon where they lived. Celtic Christianity, meaning Christianity in Cornwall, Brittainy, Wales, and Ireland specifically, developed its own, somewhat isolated, trajectory with small groups of people following the teachings of a ‘saint’, and the common people, who were Christian, worshipping in parish churches with possibly little connection to any other church. Even though Read more…