Saint Corentin and His Friend, The Fish

11 December 08 | Posted in Animals, Saints

St. Corentin lived as a hermit in the French village of Plomodiern, near Cornouaille (Quimper), in Brittany in the 7th or 8th century.

It is said that in a spring near Corentin’s hermitage there lived a remarkable fish that provided the hermit with daily nourishment. Each day, St. Corentin was able to slice off a piece of the flesh of the fish without harming the creature. He would then return the fish to the spring, where its missing flesh would grow back, making the fish whole again.

This marvel continued for several years. On one occasion, St. Corentin was obligated to provide a meal for a ruler named Grallon and his entire retinue after they became lost while hunting.  The single piece of flesh that the hermit took from the fish miraculously multiplied in the frying pan, satisfying the hunger of the entire hunting party.

Unfortunately, one royal attendant out of curiousity poked the fish with a knife, wounding it. St. Corentin healed the wound, and then commanded the fish to swim away permanently, lest it be harmed by anyone else.

St. Corentin became the first bishop of Cornouaille. For centuries, his feast day has been commemorated on December 12th.

Was that the day the fish first fed him; or the day when St. Corentin sent him away to keep him from harm? 


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