St. Canna
(Born c.AD 510)
(Welsh: Cenaf; English: Candice)

Canna is a traditional Welsh saint with a number of churches supposedly dedicated to her. Although she has a traditional history, this appears to be very late and largely invented by the 18th century antiquary of ill-repute, Iolo Morganwg. It is not impossible that her churches are named after a certain Cannou, a cleric who appears as a witness on documents associated with the Life of St. Cadog.

Canna was supposedly a Breton princess, traditionally a daughter of a King Tewdwr (perhaps meaning King Teudric). She was said to have married another Breton, St. Sadwrn, who was a man somewhat her elder, and, together, they became the parents of St. Crallo.

The family moved to South Wales, and, after Sadwrn's death, Canna remarried to Alltu Redegog, a spoosed descendant of King Cadrod Calchfynedd, by whom she had another son, St. Elian Geimiad (the Pilgrim). Depictions of her in art holding a staff which miraculously flowers may suggest a lost legend, similar to that of St. Ciaran's mother, whereby, upon feeling the pangs of childbirth, she grasped at a dry rowan stick which immediately burst into leaf.

In retirement, Canna was said to have became a nun, founding churches at Llangan and Llanganna, and possibly Canton, in Glamorganshire. Her main residence was at Llangan in Caermarthenshire, where her stone 'chair' an still be seen inscribed with her name. The nearby Fynnon Ganna (Canna's Holy Well) was, for centuries, a popular place of pilgrimage.

Canna's festival is celebrated on 25th October. She should not be confused with St. Cain ferch Brychan or St. Caen ap Caw.

There are no historic records of St. Canna. She is generally considered apocryphal.


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