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Petroc, St

Petroc, St (6th cent.). Particularly associated with Cornwall, Petroc allegedly renounced royal responsibilities in Wales for a religious life. With his followers, he went to Cornwall where he founded monasteries at Padstow and Little Petherick. Later accounts of his life include stories of travels and numerous miracles, portraying him as a typical Celtic saint, alternating between community life and solitude. He died at Treravel and was buried at Padstow, the original centre of his cult, later replaced by Bodmin, where his shrine and relics were taken. Renowned in Cornwall, his cult became widespread in Devon and Wales and in Brittany, where his stolen relics were taken in the late 12th cent. Henry II intervened for their return to England and Walter of Coutances provided a fine ivory head reliquary, which was hidden during the Reformation and rediscovered over the porch of Bodmin parish church in the 18th cent.

Audrey MacDonald

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