St Buryan Church

St Buryan TR19 6BA 



St Buriana's Legend

The Cornish legends of St Buryan link her name with St Piran as well as with Gereint, the local Chieftain, and tell how she was admired and desired for her beauty by Gereint, who carried her off by force to his stronghold at Trevorgans.St Piran and his companions hurried to the castle to beg for her release, only to be refused and told that their request would only be granted if the chieftain should be awakened the next morning by the note of a cuckoo calling in the snow.

St Piran and his companions withdrew and stood all night in prayer outside the castle walls, while the snow fell covering all the ground, except the spot where they were standing.  As the dawn broke over the snow-covered countryside the call of the cuckoo could be heard within the castle walls.  St Piran and his party were hurriedly summoned by the terrified Gereint, who humbly craving their pardon, handed over to them his prisoner. But while they were still on the way home the chieftain, like Pharaoh, hardened his heart and set out to recapture St Buriana.  But, as he put out his hand to take her, she died.....

The prayers of St Piran and his companions restored her to life again, all of which so impressed Gereint that he and his family embraced the Christian Faith. Almost the same legend comes from Ireland but the cuckoo is replaced by a swan.

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