Saint Hervé

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For the commune, see Saint-Hervé.
Saint Hervé
Effigy of St Hervé, with St Milau in the background, in the parish church at Guimiliau.
Born c. 521
Died 556
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Feast June 17
Attributes Blind abbot telling frogs to be quiet or being led by a wolf or his child guide
Patronage The blind; bards; musicians; invoked against eye problems, eye disease; invoked to cure sick horses

Saint Hervé (c. 521 – 556), also known as Harvey, Herveus, Houarniaule or Huva, was a Breton saint of the sixth century. Along with Saint Ives, he is one of the most popular Breton saints. His birthplace is stated as being Guimiliau (Gwimilio) (and sometimes as Wales), and his legend states that he was the son of a renowned bard named Hyvarnion, a former member of the court of Childebert I. The name of Hervé's mother was Rivanone.

Hervé was born blind. With his disciple Guiharan, Hervé lived near Plouvien as a hermit and bard. His legend states that he had the power to cure animals and was accompanied by a domesticated wolf.

According to a legend, this wolf had devoured the ox or donkey Hervé used in plowing. Hervé then preached a sermon that was so eloquent that the wolf penitentially 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 more disciples and refused any ordination or earthly honor, accepting only to be ordained as an exorcist. He died in 556 and was buried at Lanhouarneau.


Saint Hervé is venerated throughout Brittany and his feast day is June 17.

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