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Saints and Mystics in Legend and Tradition

  • 2/9/2023 to 3/9/2023
  • The Chapter House, St. Albans Cathedral, Sumpter Yard, St. Albans, Herts AL1 1BY


Saints and Mystics in Legend and Tradition: The Seventeenth Legendary Weekend of The Folklore Society

A two-day conference on Saints and Mystics in Legend and Tradition will be held on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September 2023 as the seventeenth Legendary Weekend of the Folklore Society, at The Chapter House, St Albans Cathedral, Sumpter Yard, St Albans, Herts AL1 1BY. Anyone can join us – folklorists, scholars, storytellers and hagiographers.

Has the spring that arose where St Albans was martyred ever been discovered? How did Cubi get so tanned while Syriol stayed pale? Where are the ‘bird that never flew…the tree that never grew…the bell that never rang and the fish that never swam’? Where is St Naal’s well? What is a ‘Cuddy Duck’? Why are Elijah and Samuel important in so many traditions? How old are the stories of Siddartha? When did Romani veneration of Saint Sarah begin? How did St Sebastian become a gay icon? Who was St Benedict the Moor? And Amram of Mainz? Who were the Twin Saints, the Three Pure Ones, the Four Friends, the Five Major Prophets? What goes into a Dumb Cake for Saint Agnes’ Eve? Does a wet St Swithun’s day really foretell forty days of rain? Do girls still appeal to St Andrew, patron saint of fishermen, for a good catch in marriage? Weave a cross of reeds or straw to celebrate St Brigid’s Day, wear a leek or daff for Dewi Sant, bear a rose for St George; hear stories of St Clement the patron saint of blacksmiths: St Jude, the patron saint of lost causes; St Lucy the patron saint of television; and many more. Join us in St Albans on from Saturday 2 to Sunday 3 September (St Justus of Lyons, and Gregory the Great’s days respectively).

St Jeremy Harte, West Ewell’s own stylish stylite, invites proposals for presentations about any saint, mystic, martyr, prophet, holy or venerated figure, be they Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, Rastafari, Sikh, or any other denomination.

Presentations, which should be 20 minutes long, can take the form of talks, performances, or film. For more information, see https://folklore-society.com/events.

The conference fee is £35 for speakers, £70 for others attending. If you would like to attend or to present a paper or performance, please contact, by 1 July: Jeremy Harte, Bourne Hall, Spring Street, Ewell, Surrey KT17 1UF. Telephone: 020 8394 1734. Email: [email protected]

Image: Heraclius taking down the head of St Alban; from Matthew Paris, Life of St Alban, MS Trinity Dublin. via Wikimedia Commons