July 31


Saint of the day:

Saint Neot (monk)

Patron Saint of Fish

Saint Neot’s Story

Neot is a saint. He was born in the first half of the ninth century, and he lived as a monk at Glastonbury Abbey. He preferred to perform his religious devotions privately, and he later went to live an isolated life in Cornwall, near the village now called St Neot. His wisdom and religious dedication earned him admiration from the monks. He visited the Pope in Rome and the Pope instructed him to found a monastery in Cornwall. He did so, and because of his devotional qualities, he became famous, and attracted large numbers of pilgrims, and with them money. A number of miracles are said to have taken place involving him. Neot died on 31 July 877 AD. His remains were kept at the monastery he had founded, and they attracted considerable numbers of pilgrims. About 975 AD a monastery was founded at Eynesbury (in what is now the town of Saint Neots), and in order to increase the lucrative visits of pilgrims, Neot's remains were abstracted from Cornwall without permission, and lodged at Eynesbury. The anticipated public attention followed, and the district around the priory and monastery became known as St Neots: that is the name of the chief town there now. Controversy arose later as to whether Neot's remains were truly at the Priory, but this was confirmed by Anselm, the Prior of the French Abbey of our Lady of Bec, in Normandy, which was the superior institution to Eynesbury and St Neots after the Norman Conquest. Anselm took Neot's jawbone back to Bec. During the reign of King Henry VIII, the Dissolution of the Monasteries took place and the priory and monastery at St Neots were probably destroyed. No further report is made of the location of Neot's remains to this day. He is remembered by the names of the town of St Neots and the Cornish village of St Neot; the parish church of Poundstock in Cornwall was also dedicated to him until 1970. The parish church in St Neot has a fine stained-glass window depicting the miracles. His saint's day is 31 July.


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