JACOB MILNESTEIN writes that St Endelienta was an early Welsh/Cornish Saint with a good heart and the gift of resurrecting dead lords and cattle.
When an impatient nobleman kills your cow off, you could be forgiven for feeling upset. Your godfather cuts off the head of the offending Lord you may well feel even more distressed – especially if your godfather happened to be the fabled King Arthur!
Not so, the 6th century Welsh saint, Endelienta.
Disgruntled by the loss of her cow yet no more pleased by her godfather’s rash solution, she hastily picked up the Lord of Trentinney’s bloody head and placed it back upon his shoulders, instantly restoring him to life.
Following this, through means unknown, she then likewise resurrected her cow, chastised her famed godfather and resumed her solitary life once more.
One of the 24 children of King Brychan of South Wales, Endelienta journeyed across the river to Devon and Cornwall with the intent of preaching the good news to the native Cornish people.
Prior to taking on her mission, she stayed with her brother, St Nectan at his hermitage in Hartland.
However, considering both Endelienta and Nectan’s talent for restoring severed heads upon the shoulders they were removed from, it seems something of a shame that she never made a return trip to Hartland in order to restore her brother to full health.
In fact, considering her gift and the manner in which a great many of the early Christian martyrs were dispatched, it is unfortunate St Endelienta did not consider the full significance of the talents she had mastered.
Imagine an army of undead Christian soldiers, the gospel constantly upon their lips as their heads were sliced from their shoulders and restored instantly by Endelienta, presiding over a new kingdom as both Empress and Pope; the truth, the way and the light.
Sadly for the martyred dead, holy and unholy, St Nectan’s sister never once seemed to consider the impact her gift may have made upon the world.
Famed for having sustained herself solely upon the milk of her cow, St Endelienta’s tale shares many similarities with that of her brother. This sibling association gives rise to the possibility that both their stories may have originated from the same source.
Regardless of this connection however and despite the loss of the chapel that was once dedicated to her at Trenteney, Endelienta’s legacy, if not her talents live in the name of Endellion, a small Cornish village which still to this day maintains an association with this miracle-working saint.
JACOB MILNESTEIN writes stories. His most recent story, “lecteur de tarot” can be found here.