Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Saint Mungo

Saint Mungo - or also known as Saint Kentigern - was born about 518. He died at Glasgow, 13 January, 603.
His mother Thenaw was daughter of a British prince, Lothus (from whom the province of Lothian was called); his father’s name is unknown. At the age of twenty-five Kentigern (i.e. “head chief”;) beginning his missionary labours at Cathures, on the Clyde. Where is now the modern Glasgow to be found.

Kentigern was more known and populary as Mungo which is Cymric and bearing the meaning of “dear one”.
Christianity had been introduced to the region by Saint Ninian and his followers welcomed the saint and procured his consecration by an Irish bishop. He built his church at the confluence of the Clyde and the Molendinar Burn, where the present medieval cathedral now stands. For some thirteen years, he laboured in the district, living a most austere life in a small cell and making many converts by his holy example and his preaching.

Here is the bird that never flew
Here is the tree that never grew
Here is the bell that never rang
Here is the fish that never swam

The verses refer to the following:
The Bird — Mungo is said to have restored life to the pet robin of Saint Serf, which had been killed by some of his fellow classmates, hoping to blame him for its death.
The Tree — Mungo had been left in charge of a fire in Saint Serf’s monastery. He fell asleep and the fire went out. Taking branches from a tree, he restarted the fire.
The Bell — the bell is thought to have been brought by Mungo from Rome. It was said to have been used in services and to mourn the deceased. The original bell no longer exists, and a replacement, created in the 1640s, is now on display in Glasgow.
The Fish — refers to the story about Queen Languoreth of Strathclyde who was suspected of infidelity by her husband. King Riderch demanded to see her ring, which he claimed she had given to her lover. In reality the King had thrown it into the River Clyde. Faced with execution she appealed for help to Mungo, who ordered a messenger to catch a fish in the river. On opening the fish, the ring was miraculously found inside, which allowed the Queen to clear her name.

Saint Mungo as he revealed himself to me.

Faber-Castell Watercolour-Pencils “Albrecht Dürer”
watercolour paper 300g/m²

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