Mid Week Reflection – Saint Petroc of Cornwall

Petroc was born in the fifth century (468 – 564) in Wales, possibly the son of a Welsh king. On his father’s death Petroc declined to join his brothers in the affairs of their kingdom, rather he choose to become a monk and follow his calling to follow Christ and together with some of his friends travelled to Ireland to study. This group, according to some, saw Petroc and the 12 later emigrate to Cornwall and settle in what is modern day Padstow. He was an active missionary and was responsible for founding a number of monasteries.

Victorian glasswork with Saint Petroc of Cornwall, at Bodmin church.
Unknown author Public domain

After thirty years there, he made a pilgrimage to Rome and the Holy Land. Some traditional stories have Petroc spending time as a hermit on an island in the Indian Ocean. He then returned to Cornwall, built a chapel near Padstow, established a community of his followers, and then became a hermit at Bodmin Moor. However, the site at Bodmin was to grow into a large monastery.

Petroc’s life was one of energetic missionary work, travel and building monasteries and finding solitude when he could. Many versions of Petroc’s life give a picture of his love for animals, of taming wolves and having them as companions and of saving them from hunters.

Petroc died in 564 and was buried at Padstow. In 981 the Vikings plundered the Monastery at Padstow, the monks moved Petroc’s remains to Bodmin.
This was not to be last time the remains, relics were moved but they are now settled in Bodmin.

St. Petroc’s ivory and gold casket
St. Petroc’s Church: Bodmin
Michael Garlick

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0
Wikimedia Commons



+ In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Almighty God,
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you: pour your love into our hearts and draw us to yourself, and so bring us at last to your heavenly city
where we shall see you face to face;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
(Common Worship Collect for the 17th Sunday of Trinity )

The Word of the Lord
(Verses from the readings from those set for the 17th Sunday of Trinity)

Psalm 19 (7,9,10 & 14)
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; • the testimony of the Lord is sure
and gives wisdom to the simple.
The fear of the Lord is clean and endures for ever; • the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, more than much fine gold, • sweeter also than honey, dripping from the honeycomb.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, • O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.


Isaiah 48 (12-13,17)

Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called:
I am He; I am the first, and I am the last.
My hand laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens;
when I summon them, they stand at attention.

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
I am the Lord your God, who teaches you for your own good,


Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, • O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)

Let those be the words that ring out in our time of prayerful reflection. These are words that many preachers start their sermons or the teachers of our sacred texts use as they seek to interpret the texts for today’s listeners. Perhaps Petroc used them!

In my going out and coming in, my rising and sleeping, watch over me, keep me from harm.
In summer sun and winter rain, my joyfulness and sorrow, watch over me, keep me from harm.
In the darkness and in lighter days, my fears and comfort, watch over me, keep me from harm.

Lord of the morning, of dawn chorus, rising sun, mist on water, day begun.
Lord of the noontime, of chattering voices, laughter and fun, sparkling water, everyone. Lord of the evening, of quiet breeze, setting sun, gentle waters, day that’s done, to you belongs our praise. (John Birch)

Let us draw into our circle of prayer our:
Family and Friends
Local church and its leaders
wider community
widening our circle to include:
those in government and positions of authority
those who are oppressed, those who are hungry and homeless
those who are ill, those facing death
Merciful Father, accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

The Lords Prayer

Gracious God, you call us to fullness of life: deliver us from unbelief
and banish our anxieties with the liberating love of Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Common Worship Alternative Collect for the 17th Sunday of Trinity)

+ In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

May the beauty of God be reflected in your eyes, the love of God be reflected in your hands, the wisdom of God be reflected in your words, and the knowledge of God flow from your heart, that all might see, and seeing, believe Breathe peace like a gentle breeze into my life; dispel the dust of unease and fear, bring release.

*(John Birch Page 22,41 & 47)

You may wish the finish this time of reflective prayer sitting silently and enjoying a peaceful moment or two. You may also think about listening to some music that has touched you or a favourite hymn or song. Enjoy these moments! God bless!

Derek Akker