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back to Anna, sister or cousin of the Blessed Virgin. This is none other than the Great Earth Mother ; in the same way the Anglo-Saxon kings derived their ancestry from Wuotan, and the Norse kings from Odin, and the kings of Rome from Mars.
The great expansion given to the cult of S. Anne in Brittany is due to a misconception and to a religious speculation. In 1625, whilst ploughing a field at Keranna, in the parish of Plunevet, in Morbihan, a farmer named Yves Nicolayic turned up out of the ground a statue, probably a Bona Dea of the pagan Armoricans, numbers of which have been found of late years, and, knowing nothing of the pre-Christian religion of the early Armoricans, he rushed to the conclusion that it represented S. Anne.
The Carmelites, who had been zealous advocates of the cult of the Mother of Our Lady, saw their opportunity and promptly seized on the occasion. In 1627 they had constructed a chapel for the image, and had organised pilgrimages to it, which met with great success. The image was destroyed at the Revolution, but the pilgrimages continue, and S. Anne is esteemed the patroness of the Bretons.
The name of S. Anne occurs, as already said, in no early calendars. It obtained admission in the fourteenth or fifteenth century, the day being July 26; this was ordered to be observed by Gregory XIII in 1584. As already mentioned, Oxenhall, on a stream flowing into the Severn, in Gloucestershire, is dedicated to S. Anne, and is the only church bearing that dedication that can by any probability be supposed a foundation of the mother of S. Samson.
Siston, near Bristol, is also dedicated to S. Anne.
S. ANNO, or AMO
This Saint's name occurs only in the alphabetical catalogue of the Welsh Saints in the Myvyrian Archaiology. It is there given as Amo, but whether a male or female Saint we are not told. Two churches are mentioned as being dedicated to the Saint. One is Llanamo in Radnorshire, which is to-day usually called Llananno. It is subject to Llanbadarn Fynydd, and is sometimes said to be dedicated to an imaginary S. Wonno. The other church mentioned is “ Rhosyr yn Mon,” that is, Newborough, in Anglesey, called Llanamo in a MS.
1 P. 418.
belonging to Robert Vaughan of Hengwrt ; but it is added, “ Llannano is the name in the neighbourhood.” The Saint is classed by Rees among those of uncertain date. The Festival of S. Anno, May 20, is entered in the calendars in the Iolo MSS. and Peniarth MS. 187, and in some calendars of the eighteenth century.
S. ANNUN, or ANHUN, Virgin
ANNUN, or Anhun, lived in the fifth century, and was the handmaid (llawforwyn) of S. Madrun, daughter of Gwrthefyr Fendigaid, or Vortimer, and wife of Ynyr Gwent. In the Iolo MSS. her name is misspelt Annan.3
In conjunction with her mistress she is said 4 to have founded the church of Trawsfynydd, in Merionethshire. The following is the legend told about its foundation. Madrun, accompanied by her maid Anhun, was making a pilgrimage to Bardsey, and reaching the place now called Trawsfynydd at dusk, very tired, rested themselves for the night under shelter of a thicket. In their sleep they both dreamt that they heard a voice calling to them, “ Adeiledwch Eglwys yma” (Build here a church). In the morning when they awoke, the one told her dream to the other, and they were greatly astonished to find that they had both dreamt the same dream. They, thereupon, in obedience to the supernatural command, built the church, which was afterwards dedicated in their honour.5
Browne Willis, however, gives the church of Trawsfynydd as dedicated to S. Madrun alone, with festival on June 9.
Annun, or Anhun, was also a man's name. The name is derived from Antonius or Antonia.
i Welsh Saints, p. 306. 2 Hafod MS. 16, Peniarth MS. 76 (sixteenth century), Myu. Arch., pp. 418,
3 P. 145. 4 Rees, Welsh Saints, p. 164. 5 Enwogion Cymru, p. 25 (Liverpool, 1870). • Survey of Bangor, 1721, p. 277.
S. ANNUN DDU, see s. AMWN DDU
S. ARANWEN, Matron
S. ARANWEN was one of the numerous daughters of Brychan Brycheiniog. 1 Rees 2 thinks that she was probably a granddaughter of his. She was the wife of Iorwerth Hirflawdd, son of Tegonwy ab Teon, of the line of Beli Mawr, King of Britain.3 Iorwerth is, in the Vespasian Cognation, said to have been “King of Powys, thence called Iorwerthion.” S. Aranwen is said to have been mother of Caenog Mawr, 4 from whom are supposed to be derived the parish name Clocaenog, and Caenog and Esgyn Gaenog in Gwyddelwern, in the county of Denbigh ; but this is not correct. Caenog was her brother-in-law.5 There are no churches dedicated to her, nor does her name appear in the Calendars.
S. ARDDUN BENASGELL, Matron
S. ARDDUN, who usually bears the epithet Penasgell, that is, “Wingheaded,” lived in the sixth century, and was a daughter of S. Pabo Post Prydain (or rather, Prydyn, “ Pictland "), a king in the North, who, on losing his territory in wars with the Gwyddyl Ffichti, or Goidelic Picts, retired to Wales, where he was well received by Cyngen ab Cadell Deyrnllwg, Prince of Powys, from whom, as well as from his son Brochwel Ysgythrog, he received grants of land. Arddun had as brothers SS. Dunawd and Sawyl Benisel. She married Brochwel Ysgythrog, Prince of Powys, to whom she bore, among other children, S. Tyssilio. She is included in late catalogues only of the Welsh Saints, 6
i Cognatio in Cott. Vesp. A. xiv, and Cott. Dom. i; Jesus Coll. MS. 20; Iolo MSS., pp. III, 121, 140; Myv. Arch., pp. 417, 419. In the Domitian Cogn. she is entered as “ Arganwen apud Powis," and in the Jesus MS, as “ Wrgrgen (sic) gwreic Ioroerth hirblant."
2 Welsh Saints, p. 146.
5 Mostyn MS., already referred to. 6 Jolo MSS., pp. 109, 126; Myv. Arch., pp. 417, 431.