St Kentigern (Mungo) – Protector of the Bullied


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This icon is AVAILABLE for sale.

Hand-painted icon on natural wood, traditionally double reinforced on the back for longer life.

Painted with egg tempera.

Dimensions: 21 cm x 29 cm.

Cost: 360 UK pounds, plus shipping costs.

St Kentigern is St Thaney’s son – the still unborn child who was pushed off the cliff and into the cold waters with his mother. The saint was raised by his single mother, under the guidance of St Serf who had offered them protection. St Kentigern’s gentleness and kindness made him so loved by everyone that to this day, he is better known as St Mungo, which translates as ‘my dear one’.

There are many stories about St Mungo’s life and his miracles, but I like this little poem remembering four of them:

‘Here is the bird that never flew

Here is the tree that never grew

Here is the bell that never rang

Here is the fish that never swam’ (this last verse inspired our icon).

Each line refers to a particular miracle, but what touches me is the overwhelming silence and peacefulness that builds from one verse to the next. It reveals a human being who found his roots somewhere else, not in this world. A human being whose ‘flight’ was not dependant on this world, whose growth and song are free from the evil thrown at him by this world.

For, according to this world, St Mungo should not have even been born. The world had condemned him to death a long time ago, while he was still in his mother’s womb. The world had greeted this new life with hatred before it even saw the light of day. So Kentigern had to learn to fly despite his wings having been cut. He had to learn to sing despite having been shut down before he was even born.

There is a lot to learn from him. Today, St Kentigern is recognised as the protector of those who are bullied, oppressed and abused, and God only knows how much we need his prayers in a world increasingly run by bullies.

The full text is available here: