Unique Curches – Chapel of St. Gildas, Brittany, France


Chapel of St. Gildas, Brittany, France

The Chapel marks the site where St. Gildas, an Irish monk, preached Christianity to a local, mainly pagan population during the 6th century.  St. Gildas and his fellow monk Bieuzy, are said to have lived in a cave at the base of the rock where the chapel now stands. It is believed they had miraculous healing powers. Chapel of St. Gildas is locatedupon the bank of the Canal du Blavet in Brittany, France. This was once a holy place of the Druids and has been built like a stone barn over the base of a bare rocky cliff. St. Gildas appears to have travelled widely throughout the Celtic world of Corwall, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. He arrived in Brittany in about AD 540 and is said to have preached Christianity to the people from a rough pulpit, now contained within the chapel.

Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys: Statue of Saint-Gildas....
Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys: Statue of Saint-Gildas. It on the shore line in a small bay near the “Grand-Mont” (Morbihan, France) Español: Estatua de San Gildas cercana al pueblo de Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys (Morbihan, Francia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to Legend, after healing the daughter of a local Count who had been seriously injured by her husband, St. Gildas was under death threat and it was no longer safe for him to remain in the area.  Bieuzy, however, continued to preach and was famous for his ability to cure rabies. Bieuzy met an unpleasant demise when he refused to interrupt one of his sermons to cure the rabid dog of a local pagan chief who later returned and attacked Bieuzy with an axe. Statue of Bieuzy with an axe lodged in his head can be seen inside the chapel today.

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2 thoughts on “Unique Curches – Chapel of St. Gildas, Brittany, France

  1. Gildas was not an Irish monk but a British (Welsh) priest. It is plausible he was born into the ruling family of what is now Strathclyde. Sent in early boyhood as an ‘oblate’ to study under Illtud (not as a seminarian) when he would have been schooled in Latin and Rhetoric. Illtud was at the time abbot on Caldey Island. Later, Gildas was ordained. His early ministry was in Wales or the west of England. It is possible he took monastic vows later and tradition claims he spent some time in Ireland. There is no tradition suggesting he was ever consecrated as a bishop.

    A priest can be a monk but a monk is not a priest. The Benedictine Rule at the time strongly discouraged ordination of monks other than the abbot/prior. A minimum of one priest was needed to celebrate mass, hear confessions and administer Last Rites. Monastic priests were not permitted to minister outside.

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