The Legend of St. Guinefort
The legend of St.
Guinefort dates to the Thirteenth century, when a
cult grew up around Lyon, France dedicated to the
worship of this holy saint. As the Legend
goes, Guinefort was a favourite of his master, we'll
call him Bob,
second only, in fact, to Bob's young son.
One day, Bob went out for a day of hunting
leaving his son in the care of the favoured
Guinefort. When hereturned he found
his son's room torn to pieces and Guinefort sitting
in the middle of the floor covered in blood. Unable
to find his son, Bob struck Guinefort dead in a
single blow and threw the body down a well.
Returning to his son's room to grieve, Bob
heard a cry, turning over the child's bed he found
his son safe and sound next to the body of a huge
python. In an instant the master realized what
had happened, Guinefort had bloodied himself by
killing the snake and saving the child's life.
Full of remorse, Bob converted the well in to
a shrine and the people of the surrounding area
began to worship Guinefort as a saint and protector
of small children. It may be important to note
at this stage that Guinefort was a greyhound.
Eventually the papacy heard of the holy dog and sent
a legate around to tell the people to knock it off
with the animal worship.
For more about St.
Guinefort, please visit the Internet Medieval
Stephen de Bourbon (d. 1262): De Supersticione:
On St. Guinefort