Gildas of Rhuys [a]

Saint and Dragon Date of Text Citation Text/edition Language Translation
Gildas of Rhuys [a] and the Dragon of Rome ix AD Vita i S. Gildae p.95 MGH MGH Auctores Antiquissimi xiii.1, 91-106; BHL no. 3541 Latin DSS no. 141



Gildas heard that the Roman citizens were gravely ill because of the pestilential breath of a dragon [ draco ] that was lurking in a cave in some mountain. With its pestilential breath it had killed many of the Romans and the others who lived around about. Hearing this, the blessed Gildas came out of his lodging in utmost secrecy at daybreak and climbed the mountain with his staff in his hand. Making a prayer,  he came to the mouth of a cave and, seeing the dragon, courageously invoked Christ by name and said: ‘In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I order to you to die at once, so that the people of the faithful should no longer be killed by you.’ It immediately fell down dead upon the earth, and the people were delivered of its pestilence.