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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume V: May. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

May 17

St. Maw, Confessor

THIS name in the Cornish language signifies a boy. 1 He was a native of Ireland, and came young into Cornwall that he might live to God alone in the closest solitude, in the practice of the most austere penance and the exercises of divine prayer. His hermitage was on the sea-coast, near the spacious harbour of Falmouth. The place is still called St. Mawes, in Latin S. Mauditi Castrum, where a church, and in the church-yard a chair of solid stone and a miraculous or holy well still bear his name. See Leland’s Itiner. vol. ix. p. 79, vol. iii. fol. 13. alias 19, where he writes that this saint had been a bishop in Britain, and was painted as a schoolmaster. 2  1
Note 1. See Borlase’s Cornish Vocabulary, V. Maw. [back]
Note 2. Leland Itiner. vol. iii. fol. 35, alias 49, in his account of St. Sativola, V., who was born at Exeter, beheaded by Feniseca, through the contrivance of her step-mother, and honoured as titular saint of a church in Cornwall, quotes on these saints the Legends of the Saints, abridged for the use of the church of Exeter, by Bishop John of Grandison, in the year 1336, of whom he speaks at large, fol. 37, alias 53.
  He mentions many places of great devotion in that country, as St. Kiaran’s, alias Kenerin’s, a sanctuary two miles from Gilling Creek. The church of St. Budocus, a holy Irishman, who lived and died a recluse there. St. Germoc’s church, three miles from St. Michael’s, with his chair and a holy well in the church-yard: the church of St. Buriene, a holy Irish virgin, who lived there a recluse; to which King Athelstan granted the privilege of a sanctuary, and built there a famous college under her patronage and name. St. Ide’s island famous for pilgrimages to her sepulchre. St. Iäs, who was daughter to an Irish nobleman and disciple of St. Barr. She arrived here with many companions. Dinan, a great lord in Cornwall, built a church for her use, which since bears her name, in a peninsula and on the rock of Pendinas. St. Mogun’s church on Mogun Creek. St. Geron’s, St. Juste’s, St. Carac’s, &c. See the life of Kiaran on the 5th of March. [back]