St Michaels Mount: Truly MajesticEarly Christian Site | December 22, 2010
St Michaels Mount and Mont St Michel are situated on English Channel’s either side. St Michaels Mount is dangerously perched on outcroppings of coastal rocks. Numerous visions of Archangel Michael were spotted at both locations. This happened in the fifth century BC. Both shrines have a common history.
St Michaels Mount served as a port and post for trading materials like tin and copper. The mount guards the entrance to the district of Cornwall from the Land’s End. The tiny island was occupied by mystics and hermits immediately after the defeat of the merchants at the hands of Julius Caesar in BC 56. According to legend, St Keyne visited the island. A spring is said to have gushed forth miraculously when the saint set foot on the island in AD 490.
According to legend, an apparition of St Michael was seen at the island to a fisherman in AD 495. This precipitated Christian pilgrimages toward the mount. Several versions of the legend exist. According to some, St Michael was seen atop rocky ledge, while others saw him walking on Mount Bay’s waters.
Whatever the truth, the mount developed into a crucial sacred destination. During the course of the next 1500 years, thousands of pilgrims pay their respects to St Michaels Mount. Following the episode of the apparition, St Michaels Mount has served as a church, fortress, private castle, and a priory. The family of St Aubyn treated it as a private castle. Presently, the National Trust maintains the shrine and the castle. National Trust is an independent organization dedicated to preservation of antiquities belonging to Great Britain. The site is visited by an equal number of religious pilgrims and tourists.
There are two interesting developments that come to light while exploring St Michaels Mount. According to several legends, St Michael is believed to have appeared in 400 odd spots in Britain and Europe during the fourth and fifth centuries BC. St Michael is believed to have slain dragons at a majority of these sites. Excavations in the region have pointed to presence of dinosaurs. However, no bones of any dragon have been found. This lack of evidence of the presence of dragons makes many people question the credibility of the story of St Michael. Is it true that St Michael slayed dragons? Or is it a metaphorical myth.