Saint Hervé

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Saint Hervé
Effigy of St Hervé, with St Milau in the background, in the parish church at Guimiliau.
Bornc. 521
Guimiliau, Breton chiefdoms
Venerated inEastern Orthodox Church
Roman Catholic Church
Feast17 June
AttributesBlind abbot telling frogs to be quiet or being led by a wolf or his child guide
PatronageThe blind; bards; musicians; invoked against eye problems, eye disease; invoked to cure sick horses

Saint Hervé (c. 521 – 556 AD), also known as Harvey, Herveus, Houarniaule, or Huva, was a sixth-century Breton saint. Along with Saint Ives, he is one of the most popular of the Breton saints. He was born in Guimiliau (Gwimilio).


He was the son of a bard named Hyvarnion, a former member of the court of Childebert I. His mother was Rivanone.

Hervé was born blind. With his disciple Guiharan, Hervé lived near Plouvien as a hermit and bard. He had the power to cure animals and was accompanied by a domesticated wolf. His wolf devoured the ox or donkey Hervé used in plowing. Hervé then preached a sermon that was so eloquent that the wolf begged to be allowed to serve in the ox's stead. Hervé's wolf pulled the plow from that day on.

He was joined by disciples and refused any ordination or earthly honour, accepting only to be ordained as an exorcist. He died in 556 AD and was buried at Lanhouarneau.


Saint Hervé is venerated throughout Brittany. His feast day is 17 June.

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