Friday, May 23, 2008

Arthur, Cado and Saint Carannog and the Dragon

Russian Icon of St Carannog on the Left

After a long time in Ireland, the Irish Saint, Carannog eventually returned to Wales and again occupied, for a short time, the same cave which had formerly been his hermitage. He was joined by a number of brethren, and this may have made him eager to depart for a solitary life elsewhere.He decided to embark on a white martyrdom and make a retreat by travelling down through Wales to the West Country. Like most holy men of the time, Carannog had a small portable stone altar which he used to say mass and to evangelise.

Carannog crosses the Severn (Hafren)

He was going to go off for a retreat and get away from it all. So, desiring to cross the Severn and Bristol Channel to Somerset, he threw this into the sea. When it miraculously floated, he was able to use it as a small boat and pass safely over to the Bristol Area. The Beachley-Aust crossing would seem to have been the best possibility, being the narrowest and shallowest part and at this time, no doubt the Severne (Hafren) would not have been as wide as it is today. There was also a crossing, however from Sudbury to Avonmouth, or somewhere along there. However, somehow the altar and he became separated and Carannog landed near Dindarithou (Dunster), the home of King Cado of Dumnonia, without his altar. He made his way to Carrum (Carhampton) where he made enquiries as to where it had come ashore.

Arthur and the Dragon

Arthur was staying in the region at the time, undertaking the challenge of defeating a ferocious dragon which was ravaging the local countryside. Dragon slaying stories are rife among the early Christian saints and it is important to realise that dragons were a symbol of evil at all times. Christian saints are often to be found taming such ‘dragons’ but it must have been a symbol. In heraldry the dragon is always used to depict a powerful family, and in early terminology a tyrannical and certainly pagan family providing danger to the area, particularly evil tyranny. Such families were a powerful source of evil in early times. Raiding, raping pillaging the reputation of these pockets of evil would spread quickly and Arthur s a sort of champion Christian King would have been called to deal with it, and needed divine intervention to do it, even if he had to force Carannog to help using his closeness to God. The symbol of the dragon was well understood, even in Turkey , where St George took on such a task and there is even a twelfth century tale of St Peter killing a dragon.This would not have been a Druid settlement-most of these had been christianised but this would have been a tyrannical ruler, whom only a greater power could tame, because he was so steeped in evil.(the word ‘serpent’ is also used)

Carannog’s Altar

Arthur’s men had found the altar at the mouth of the River Guellit (Willett) and had tried to use it as a table, but everything that was placed upon it was immediately thrown off. We see here a hard and unsympathetic side to Arthur as he demands payment for the return of the altar. Carannog asked Arthur what should be done. Arthur would have known he had no money and it was just a lever to get him to do what he wanted evangelise and use the power of God on the evil to bring it down.
Arthur said “That thou shouldst lead the serpent that is near thee, and we shall see whether thou art a servant of God.” We are told that the Blessed Carannog went and prayed to the Lord.’ He went close to the ‘dragon’ and raised his hands in prayer to Almighty God calling upon him to help him.

The Miracle- evil is vanquished

The miracle happened the offending ‘serpent’ or evil chieftain came with a ‘great noise running as a calf to its dam as an obedient servant to its master with an humble heart and downcast eyes’.Carannog put his robe around him and led him like a lamb and it did not attempt any way of attacking him. His neck was like that of a bull seven years old, so that the robe could scarcely go round the him.

The Banquet at Cado’s Castle

And they went to see Cado at the Castle and were well received by him. And he brought the perpetrator to the middle of the hall that he might be fed it before all people as he was hungry. They tried to kill it, however, but Carannog would not allow them to do this. He said that he came by the Word of God (Jesus) to crush sinners, who were in Carrun, and for him to show the power of God by it. Afterwards he went out of the gate of the castle and let him go. In its departing he commanded the penitent he should hurt no-one, or return any more as God commanded.

Monastic foundation at Carhampton

When Carannog had the altar back, Arthur admired it and wanted to keep it as a table, but things kept falling off so he realised Carannog, the Irish monk, was very holy. He made over Carrum forever to the saint by written deed and Carannog later built a church there . Later this was a famous monastery which remained there until post reformation times as a ruined chapel in the parish.

A Voice from Heaven

Subsequently a voice came from heaven, telling him to place the altar in the sea and Carannog sent Cado and Arthur to find out what had happened to it and they found out it had landed at Guellit. Cado said I will give twelve hides of land where the altar may be found. Carannog built a church there and the church was called Caron .He was told by God to go into exile and leave his family. He found out that the island was holy and carried the many remains of the saints. He remained there until he died.

Carhampton and Dunster-the site of this story.

Carhampton is located in Somerset, between Watchet and Minehead, one mile from Dunster. It is a small village on the busy A39. The Church in Carhampton is dedicated to St John the Baptist and the one in Dunster is dedicated to St George. According to records there were two churches in Carhampton in 1180 and it is known that annual payment was made to Dunster on the feast of St Carantoc (May 16th) for the two churches in Carhampton.This second church was probably the monastic chapel remains.

The dragon image in Christianity goes to the very source of evil

The dragon image in Christianity goes to the very source of evil and has always been used as such as we have seen above. God can perform miracles, but evil is strong and can also perform miracles to suck people in. From earliest times Christ and the curch he founded on Peter fought a spiritual battle against evil.

The dragon and his influence in the last days. He will empower the antichrist. He will control the world.(So will we let ourselves be microchipped?)

"And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority." (Revelation 13:2)

"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." (Revelation 12:9)

And many of them look so menacing; evil; wicked; ungodly; scary, and downright demonic.

The Revelations of St John show the world will be totally deceived by the dragon and the world is obviously getting ready for him now. Never before in the history of mankind has there been so much interest in Satanism; witchcraft; the occult and other daemonic practices.

"And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast..." (Revelation 13:4)

The Bible says that we should be trusting God by faith and not be lured by what we perceive for example in the media according to the Law of God and the Teaching o the Church. Today many professing Christians are going along with damaging spiritual beliefs; following so called prophets that supposedly perform miracles.

God will triumph and his people of Christ will inhabit the New Heaven

"And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years." (Revelation 20:2)

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:10)

Until then however we need to ever be on guard against the sultry soothing lures of of evil and stand fast in the whole armour of God.

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:11-12)

How right St Paul was 'Spiritual wickedness in high places'.Read for this recent events in Haut de la Garenne, abduction and murder of children , and all the evil and cruelty in the world stand as testament.

As for the high places, who can support the killing of unborn life and playing God with animal human clones, soothing people with the notion it will lead to a cure for incurable diseases, which is unproven. When people lose their notion of what is right and wrong they are being spiritually weak, offending God. With Christ, however we have hope. We know we don't have to fear what is coming because we know exactly where we are hoping to go, if we walk by Faith Hope and Love.

Madeleine McCann

Irritatingly it seems that there is now to be a delay of 3 months before Gerry and Kate McCann can see the secret files held on Madeleine's case by the Portuguese authorities. This frustrating for them, because Scotland Yard are taking a greater role in checking everything out. You have to wonder at the delay-is there something they don't want the McCanns to know? Is someone being protected? The details were, I understand due to be released on the anniversary of the abduction. Clearly with all the high profile people who have taken an interest in this case, you have to wonder....

Knife Crime and bombs in Exeter and Mary Whitehouse

I noticed there was a programme about Mary Whitehouse on the TV on Wednesday night. The woman needs a medal, as she was , ofr a while able to curb the excesses of TV producers in providing resistance to a salami slicing effect of ever greater leniency culminating in a nine o'clock watershed we have today, which even now broadcasters are pushing against.Many people have completely shut off from bad language and gratuitous sex and buy videos they know they will like. Films without these things, movies with thought behind them and some greater quest still gross more money. I watched the Indiana Jones film yesterday-absolutely cool and brilliant. The two hours flashed by so quickly. We cam out exhilirated and relaxed with the laughter (Spielberg is just so good!) and we went to see Prince Caspian, then found it was not on. Don't believe the critics trying to sell 'hard hitting ground breaking etc etc yawn'Give me Indy any time!!

Children's Commissioner for England has just said that children are being alienated by being stopped and searched. More often than not, police are checking 'imitators'-no the real 'baddies-feral children with dysfunctional familes'who know how to escape. The 'Imitators' are thus left defenceless against the real 'baddies'. Oh dear, why don't they scoop up the feral children and send them to boot camps, which seem to be able to tame the kids by exposing them to the realisties of survival in the desert and such things. Even children like this are a real threat to the comunity, just like the young man in Exeter who converted to Islam and decided this gave him the right to set a bomb in the West Country city of Exeter, sending one young innocent woman to Exeter , where she is fighting for her life.
Prayers for her and Prayers for us and for a young man who believed he had the right to kill.The dragon is around. God save us and bless us.

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