St Magloire – Patron Saint of Sark
October 24th is the feast day of a local Saint you may never have heard of, Saint Magloire. He was a Welshman, and a nephew of St Samson (the very same man who introduced Chrtistianity to Guernsey). He succeeded his uncle as Bishop of Dol in c.560 AD. He’s credited with introducing Christianity to Sark and as such has been adopted as the patron saint of the island.
The Story behind the Man
As a reward for performing a miraculous cure St Magloire is said to have been granted half of the Island of Sark by a Count Loyesco, and in 565 he gave up his See, and crossed to Sark, where he founded a Monastery in the north-west of the island in a wooded valley which still bears the name of la Moinerie. Here he gathered a group of 62 Monks from all parts of Britain, Normandy and Brittany; the Monks cultivated the land, and built a Water-mill to grind their corn; to drive the Mill a dam was made across the stream some 80 feet above the bay into which it flows.
Legend has it that the monastery was destroyed by a Danish chieften, Jarl Hastings, in the middle of the ninth century. The event was recorded in a medieval poem:
All Sark was overrun by heathens,
Who caused much woe and cruelly devastated it;
To the monastery came St Magloire with a great cry and great tumult.