Un article de GrandTerrier.
1 Fiche signalétique
Catholiques en France :
Son histoire a sans aucun doute quelques fondements historiques, même si elle a été grandement améliorée par des légendes. Roi de Cornouailles, il mena tout d'abord une vie déréglée. Puis il se retira dans le Pays de Galles et en Irlande pour faire pénitence. Il se rendit enfin en Ecosse pour en être le missionnaire et c'est là qu'il fut tué par des pirates.
Dates de Fête : 9 mars, Fête Locale
site Irish Catholic Church :
Celtic and Old English Saints 11 March
St. Constantine of Scotland, Martyr
Died 576; feast in Cornwall and Wales is March 9. King Constantine of Cornwall is reputed to have been married to the daughter of the king of Brittany and to have led a life full of vice and greed until he was led to conversion by Saint Petroc (f.d. June 4). Upon the death of his wife, he is said to have ceded his throne to his son in order to become a penitent monk at St. Mochuda Monastery at Rahan, Ireland. He performed menial tasks at the monastery, then studied for the priesthood and was ordained. Constantine became a missionary to the Picts in Scotland under Saint Columba and then Saint Kentigern, preached in Galloway, and founded and became abbot of a monastery at Govan near the River Clyde. In his old age, on his way to Kintyre, he was attacked by pirates who cut off his right arm, and he bled to death. He is regarded as Scotland's first martyr. There are two places in Cornwall called Constantine: one on the Helford River and the other near Padstow. The church on the first site was the larger and survived as a monastery until the 11th century. He was also patron of the Devon churches of Milton Abbot and Dunsford (Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer, Husenbeth).
Constantine was a king of Cornwall, the son of Padeon, whose conversion probably dates from a confrontation with St. Petroc who was sheltering a stag which had taken refuge with him from Constantine's huntsmen. Constantine married a princess from Brittany who died shortly after the marriage and the King was so desolated that he left his kingdom and sought sanctuary, first at S. David's monastery at Menevia and then in Ireland at Rathin, made famous by St. Carthage and Mochuda. He arrived at Rathin unannounced and was set to work in the granary, grinding corn in a stone quern. One day he was heard by one of the monks laughing and saying to himself, "Is this really Constantine, King of Cornwall, who wore a helmet and bore a shield, working this handmill? It is the same, and yet it is not".
This conversation was reported to the abbot who took him into the community and after a while he was ordained priest. He had spent seven years at the abbey before he was recognised and by now he was quite an old man, but he desired to visit Iona and set off with the blessing of the abbot. St. Columba received him kindly and sent him on to Sr. Kentigern, whom he may have met when he was at Menevia. While visiting Glasgow he stayed for some time with St. Mirren at Paisley and the two became great friends so that Constantine decided to build himself a monastery nearby at Govan by the river. It is interesting that the ruined church of St. Constantine, on the shore of the Bay that bears his name, has the parish of St Merryn adjoining it and the font in St Merryn's Church comes from St Constantine's.
After St. Constantine had founded his monastery at Govan he still felt impelled to preach the Faith of Christ to the heathen and he went to Kintyre with a party of his monks. There, by Campbeltown Loch a party of robbers came upon him and hacked him and his one attendant to pieces. The ruins of a church at Kilchouslan is supposed to mark the spot where the first of the martyrs of Scotland was attacked and left to die, bleeding to death from a severed arm. His brethren found him and received his blessing before he died. They took his body back to Govan and buried him in the church that has his name. His sarcophagus was discovered in 1855 and has been restored to the church which keeps his festival on March 11th (Baring Gould, Fisher, Towill, Barret, John).
Troparion of St Constantine Tone 5 Grieving at the loss of thy young spouse,/ thou didst renounce the world, O Martyr Constantine,/ but seeing thy humility God called thee to leave thy solitude and serve Him as a priest./ Following thy example,/ we pray for grace to see that we must serve God as He wills/ and not as we desire,/ that we may be found worthy of His great mercy.
Kontakion of St Constantine Tone 4 Thou wast born to be King of Cornwall,/ O Martyr Constantine,/ and who could have foreseen that thou wouldst become the first hieromartyr of Scotland./ As we sing thy praises, O Saint,/ we acknowledge the folly of preferring human plans to the will of our God.
- Baring-Gould,S. The Lives of the Saints (15 volumes: John Hodges, 1882)
(4 volumes: Charles J Clarke, 1907)
- Baring-Gould& Fisher, J. The Lives of the British Saints
(Fort Augustus Abbey Press, 1919)
- Barrett, M. A. Calendar of Scottish Saints
(1947). The Book of Saints. NY: Macmillan.
- Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
(1966). The Book of Saints. NY: Thomas Y. Crowell.
- Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
- Delaney, J. J. (1983). Pocket Dictionary of Saints, NY:
(Oxford University Press, 1958)
- Cross, F. L. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Farmer, D. H. (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Saints.
(The Blackstaff Press, Belfast, 1990)
- Flanagan, L. A. Chronicle of Irish Saints
Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints. London: Virtue & Co.
- Husenbeth, Rev. F. C., DD, VG (ed.). (1928). Butler's
- John, C. R. The Saints of Cornwall (Lodenek Press Ltd, 1981)
Guildford: Billing & Sons.
- Montague, H. P. (1981). The Saints and Martyrs of Ireland.
(The Saint Andrew Press, Edinburgh, 1983)
- Towill, E. S. The Saints of Scotland
- For All the Saints:
- An Alphabetical Index of the Saints of the West
- These Lives are archived at:
Site en.Wikipedia :
Constantine (Cornish: Costentyn; Welsh: Custennin) was an early 6th century king of Dumnonia in south-western Britain, sometimes identified with a saint of the same name.
All that is known for certain about Constantine comes from the writings of Gildas, who calls him "the tyrannical whelp of the unclean lioness of Damnonia". Damnonia is assumed to be a reference to the south-west, rather than a similarly named kingdom which may have emerged in what is now Scotland. Gildas rebukes Constantine for having "put away" his wife in order to commit numerous adulteries. Furthermore, after swearing to make peace with his enemies, he disguised himself as an abbot, entered the church where two youths had sought sanctuary and murdered them on the steps of the altar. Sir Constantine, also called Constantine III of Britain, King Arthur's successor, may be based on this king. He first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's 12th century pseudo-history Historia Regum Britanniae, where he murders the sons of Mordred in a similar fashion.
A Saint Constantine (possibly more than one) is revered in Devon and Cornwall, and has become identified with the monarch. If this is correct, he must have mended his ways. He gives his name to the parish church of Milton Abbot in Devon and the villages of Constantine and Constantine Bay in Cornwall, also extinct chapels in Illogan and Dunterton. The saint at Constantine Bay was almost certainly the 'wealthy man' of this name mentioned in the Life of Saint Petroc. He was converted to Christianity by that holy man at nearby Little Petherick after the deer Constantine was hunting took shelter with him. A Constantine "King of the Cornishmen" also appears in the Life of Saint David as having given up his crown in order to enter this saint's monastery at St David's.
The conversion of a Constantine is recorded in the Annals of Ulster in 588 and a Constantine, King of Cornwall appears in the Breviary of Aberdeen as entering a monastery in Ireland incognito before joining Saint Mungo (alias Kentigern) and becoming a missionary to the Picts. He was martyred in Scotland about 576 and John of Fordun tells how he was buried at Govan (where his shrine can still be seen today). Although revered on the same day as the Cornishman, the date has probably been transferred from one to the other. The Life of Saint Kentigern says that the Northern Saint Constantine was the son of a King of Strathclyde, while David Nash Ford suggests he was the son of Riderch Hael. 
The cult of Saint Constantine centred on the two places bearing his name, both of which may have originally supported monastic establishments . The ruined chapel at Constantine Bay also has a nearby holy well (uncovered in 1911). Taking the waters there was said to bring rain during dry weather. The chapel's splendid font is now in the parish church at St Merryn. The name of the village of Constantine in Kerrier is recorded as Sanctus Constantinus in the Domesday Book. However, the monasteries seem to have declined into parish churches, after the Norman Conquest. The present Kerrier building is 15th century and bears no remnants of Constantinist iconography. The saint's day is generally celebrated on 9 March. An annual "Feast" is held in the village of Constantine, on the Sunday nearest to 9th March.
1. ^ Ford, David Nash. St. Constantine of Cornwall, King of Dumnonia. Early British Kingdoms. Retrieved on 2005-09-07.
2. ^ Ford, David Nash. St. Constantine, King of Strathclyde. Early British Kingdoms. Retrieved on 2006-09-16.
3. ^ However, Dr. Lynette Olson (1989) has challenged Charles Henderson's assertion (Henderson 1937) that there was a monastic establishment at Constantine, Kerrier, Cornwall.
- Henderson, Charles (1937). A history of the parish of Constantine in Cornwall. Truro: Royal Institution of Cornwall, 42 – 43 and footnote.
- Doble, G. H. (1965). The Saints of Cornwall. Dean & Chapter of Truro.
- Geoffrey of Monmouth; Thorpe, Lewis. The History of the Kings of Britain. London: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-044170-0.
- Orme, Nicholas (2000). The Saints of Cornwall. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-820765-4
- Olson, Lynette (1989). Early monasteries in Cornwall (Studies in Celtic History series). Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press. ISBN 0-85115-478-6.