Saints of The English Year – St. Piran

March 5th

One of Cornwall’s most popular saints, and also known in Brittany and Wales, Piran (or Perran) probably originated from Ireland and died in Cornwall sometime around the year 480. Details of his life are decidedly sketchy, mainly because of the mistaken identification of him as Irish saint Ciaran, which has all but destroyed any facts that might have otherwise survived. Piran was claimed as the patron saint of Cornish tin-miners, and they regularly took the day off work in his honour, although the only detail that has survived of their celebrations is that they always got roundly drunk.

[©Steve Roud: The English Year. Penguin 2006]

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