IRELAND OF MY HEART
Saits Carranog & Curig
and his tamed dragon (dinosaur)
Saint Carannog / Carantock
Irish Missionary of Wales & Cornwall, England (+6th century
Saint Carantoc was the son of Ceredig, King of Cardigan, but he chose the life of a hermit and lived in a cave above the harbour of the place now called after him, Llangranog, where there is also a holy well, which he probably used. When the people tried to force him to succeed his father, he fled, and founded a religious settlement in Somerset at Carhampton. According to legend, his portable altar was lost as he crossed the Severn Sea and was washed up at the mouth of the little brook Willet near Carhampton. Carantoc went to King Arthur, the leader of the British resistance to the Saxon invaders, to ask his help to recover his altar, and the King asked him in return to tame a dragon that was troubling the neighbourhood.
After Carantoc had prayed to the Lord, the dragon came running to the man of God and humbly bent his head to allow him to put his stole around his neck and to lead him like a lamb, lifting neither wing nor claw against him. After a time the dragon was released and departed having been instructed not to molest the human inhabitants of the land again. This is said to have taken place at Dunster.
Besides Carhampton, Carantoc founded a religious settlement at Crantock across the river Gannel from Newquay, and then, according to Capgrave, was led by his guardian angel to journey to Ireland to assist St.Patrick in the conversion of that island. In Ireland he cured one of his disciples, Tenenan, of his leprosy by giving him a hot bath. His ministry did not end in Ireland for he is honoured in Brittany as the founder saint of Carantec and the neighbouring parish of Tegarantec, which was probably originally Tref Carantoc.
St.Carantoc died in the middle of the sixth century, and Bath Abbey, which held the living of Carhampton, kept his festival on May 16th. The Welsh, Cornish, Irish and Breton calendars commemorate him at this time.