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Saint Piran

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Saint Piran's Flag consists of a white cross on a black field
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Saint Piran's Flag consists of a white cross on a black field
For the coastal town and a municipality in southwestern Slovenia please see Piran (Italian Pirano)

Saint Piran or Perran is the patron saint of tin-miners. He is also generally regarded as the patron saint of Cornwall, although Saint Michael and Saint Petroc also have some claim to this title. Saint Piran's Flag is a white cross on a black background: this is well-attested in oral tradition but its provenance is disputed by historians. St Piran's Day is March 5th.

He is the most famous of all the Irish saints who came to Cornwall. He is said to have discovered tin and is reputed to have founded the monastery of Clonmacnois (Clumaineteno). His name is probably a P-Celtic form of the Irish name 'Ciaran'.

It is said that at his death the remains of the Blessed Martin the Abbot which he had brought from Ireland were buried with him at Perranzabuloe; his own remains were subsequently exhumed and redistributed to be used as reliquaries. Exeter Cathedral was reputed to be the possessor of one of his arms, while according to an inventory of St Piran's Church, Perranzabuloe, had a reliquary containing his head and also a hearse in which his body was placed for processionals.

The town of Perranporth ('Piran's Port' in Cornish) hosts the annual inter-Celtic festival of 'Lowender Peran' (http://www.an-daras.com/lp/lp_intro.htm|), which is also named in honour of him.

Legend: The heathen Irish tied him to a mill-stone, rolled it over the edge of a cliff into a stormy sea, which immediately became calm, and the saint floated safely over the water to land upon the sandy beach of Perranzabulo in Cornwall, where his first converts to Christianity were animals.

Legend: St. Piran "rediscovered" tin-smelting (tin had been smelted in Cornwall since before the Romans arrival, but the methods had since been lost) when his black hearthstone, which was evidently a slab of tin-bearing ore, had the tin smelt out of it & rise to the top in the form of a white cross (thus the image on the flag).eo:Sankta Piran kw:Sen Pyran

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