Saints Peris and Cian and the Forgotten Past

Today is the commemoration of St Peris and his pupil or servant St Cian. I would love to wax poetic about their great accomplishments and their importance to early Christianity in North Wales. Unfortunately, I cannot.

I’ve already told you just about everything I could find about them. Tradition says that St Peris was the son of Helig ap Glanawg, a 6th century Welsh prince. Helig ap Glanawg seems to have fathered six or seven sons who became saints. It is not uncommon to saints to run in families, nor for them to descend from nobility, particularly in Britain.

The sad thing is that while we have a record of their names, and we can account for some churches dedicated to them, much of the reason they were reckoned saints has been lost. Much of this is no doubt due to the ravages of the Reformation and Interregnum. The powers of the day attempted to take out a large eraser and rub out the Christian family tree, disowning our ancestors in the Faith. We are the poorer for it.

We can be thankful that even if we have forgotten the saints of old, they have not forgotten us. They don’t need our knowledge of them to have knowledge of us or intercede for us. There are even those whose names have been lost to us and those who were never noticed by the Church in the first place who faithfully pray in heaven.

As representative of so many local saints, we can be thankful that our fathers among the saints Peris and Cian pray to God for us.