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(6th century),

Celtic saint, patron of Budock and Budoc Vean (Cornwall) and St Budeaux (Devon). Budoc was honoured also in Pembrokeshire (Dyfed) in and near Steynton; to him was dedicated a Tironian monastery at Pill in 1200. An Oxford church (near the castle) was also dedicated to Budoc; it may well have been of pre-Conquest date.

Budoc is also venerated in Brittany. The 9th-century Life of Winwaloe describes him as a teacher living in the island of Laurea. The Life of Maglorius, written c.900, and the 11th-century Chronicle of Dol, make him Maglorius' successor as bishop of Dol. He is the local saint of Plourin, where his relics are still preserved. There is a cult and no place-names at Dol, but place-names without a cult in Cornouaille. Whether this Breton bishop is the same as the abbot venerated in Pembrokeshire and Cornwall it is impossible to determine. The date of the Breton feast (9 December) is sufficiently close to the Exeter martyrology entry to favour an identification; it is a curious fact also that Budock faces St Mawes across Falmouth harbour, while Mawes was abbot of an island monastery in Brittany close to that of Budoc. The main centres of the cult(s) of Budoc are all close to the sea.

The most picturesque legend of Budoc concerns his birth at sea in a barrel. His mother Azenor had been falsely accused of infidelity to her husband by her jealous stepmother who had her thrown pregnant into the English Channel in a barrel. Fortified by visions of Brigid she reached Ireland and became the washer-woman of the monastery of Beau Port, near Waterford, where her son was brought up. This story is derived from Greek mythology; with other late accretions it has done nothing to help unravel the tangled skeins of this saint's life and cult. Feast: 8 December; Glastonbury claimed to possess a relic.

G. H. Doble, The Saints of Cornwall, iii (1964), 3–14;Albert Le Grand, La Providence de Dieu sur les Justes en l'Histoire admirable de Saint Budoc, Archevesque de Dol (1640).

Subjects: Religion

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