Feast Day: 8 July
Saint Morwenna is a British saint who was born in Wales and whose brother is St. Nectan. After travelling to Ireland, she eventually settled in Cornwall. Morwenna made her home in a little hermitage at Hennacliff (the Raven’s Crag), afterwards called Morwenstow (meaning “Morwenna’s holy-place”).
It stands near the top of a high cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, where the sea is almost constantly stormy, and from where, in certain atmospheric conditions, the coast of Wales can be seen.
As the place was very rural and poor, it lacked the funds to build a church for the travelling priests to come and say Mass. To help ensure that everyone there could have a special place for prayer and time with God she decided to build a church there, for the local people, with her own hands.
She was not a rich woman and it is said that she carried the stone on her head from beneath the cliff to the hermitage at the top. She did this for many years and persevered with what would become her life’s work. It is said that where she once stopped for a rest, a spring gushed forth to the west of the church; this well is still there to this day but sadly has dried up in recent years.
She is now a patron saint of Morwenstow, Cornwall and England.
Why Saint Morwenna is important
A reflection from someone in our young Catholic community
Morwenna is a great example of determination and care for others. She’s a great testament to Christianity in this country and shows how Christianity at its roots is simply loving God and others, helping them on their journey to heaven.