Saint Helier - Saint Hélyi - Saint Hélier

St Hélyi

From Caesarea

As for the other called St. Helery, he deserues a place in the Martyrology, & though not Canonized after the manner of moderne Saints, he hath a principall place in the Kalender of Coutances in these words :

xvii. Kalend. Aug.


Who these Vandalls were, or when this man was put to death by them, doth not appeare. I thinke they might as well haue ben termed Normanni or Dani, being either those who were at first brought into France by Rollo, or by some others afore him; whome those of Coutance, being themselues Normans, to auoyd the enuy of ye. word, call Vandalls. This Martyrdome in probability happened about the time of St. Maglorius his Translation, being ye. yeare 857. His name you see is Helier, Helery, not Hilary Bishop of Poitiers, as some haue fancyed : for that Bishop was neuer exiled into Jersey, nor any other but Praetextatus. There haue ben formerly many fabulous reports concerning him, beleeued then like ye. Gospell, which put together would make a compleate Legend, most of which are patch't vp together in an old French Rime, formerly in vogue among credulous people, but nowe allmost quite forgotten, in which it is sayd that Sir Agobard, yt. is a knight, was ye. name of his father, & Elizambard ye. name of his mother, & yt. like ye prophet Elishah he was wont to delude pirats who came to inuade ye. Island, soe as they could not see it, nor approach it. And from thence, when some cloud or darke spott appeares afarre off in ye. Sea, hauing ye. likenesse of a sayle, ye. people of Jersey haue for it a Prouerbiall expression, saying that those be St Heleryes shipps, Les Nauires de St. Helier. Certainly he was noe fourbe, but a very pious man & of a holy life and greate austerity, & hath not ben soe cryed vp for nothing. There is a little Islet or rather a Rock, at a Bowshot distance from ye. New-castle more into the Sea, called St Heleryes Island, in ye. fashion of an Ermitage, where his Cell remaines to this day hewen into the rock, with a Couch of the same rock, where he is sayd to haue passed his dayes in great hardship : which Cell hath ben in times pass't much frequented by pilgrims for farre & neere, vpon ye. score of deuotion. Sr Thomas Morgan in his last yeare did cause that Rocke to be fortifyed, & planted ordinance vpon it. The towne Church & Parish are dedicated to this Saint, & beare his name; & soe did ye. Church and Abbey which was built in ye. place where nowe is ye. Lower Guard of Elizabeth Castle, which church was much comended for goodnesse of structure; and ye. quire of it remained entire till ye. Siedge of 1651 by Colonell Heane, when it was quite ruined by ye. fall of a Bombe through the roofe of it downe to a roome which had ben made vnder it full of powder, which tooke fire & blewe it vp, & with it neere foure score men. The Author of "Neustria Pia" speakes thus of Jersey : "Illustrior autem haberi coepit ex quo Sanctus Helerius illic a Wandalis Martyrii palmam accepit. Nam in honorem huius inclyti Athletae Christi constituta est Insignis Abbatia a D'no Guillelmo Hamone viro nobili & antiqui Stemmatis apud Neustrios Heroe. In quâ Canonicos Regulares Ordinis Sti. Augustini posuit."

Caesarea or A Discourse of the Island of Jersey - Poingdestre

St Hélyi

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