Glasgow, Scotland Coat of Arms featuring St. Kentigern, the Patron Saint of Salmon    

As Alaska’s salmon season gets underway, it seems appropriate to acknowledge the patron saint of salmon.

It’s Saint Kentigern of Scotland. Born long ago in 518, Kentigern was the illegitimate son of a king’s daughter.

He trained as a priest at a monastery, where his saint-hood evolved around a dangerous love-triangle.

Legend has it that the king suspected his wife of having an affair, because she had given one of her favorite rings to a court favorite.

The king took the ring when the man was sleeping and threw it far out into the River Clyde.

When he returned home, the king angrily demanded that his wife show him the missing ring and threatened her with death if she could not produce it.

In her misery, the queen beseeched the priest Kentigern to help her.

Kentigern took a fishing rod to the spot where the ring had been flung into the river. He quickly caught a salmon and cut it open. Amazingly, the ring was found in the salmon’s belly.

The queen was able to deliver the ring to her doubting husband and peace was restored.

From the time of his death in 603, Kentigern was regarded as Scotland’s patron saint and the cathedral at Glasgow was built in his honor.

To this day Kentigern figure and symbols, including a salmon, make up that city’s coat of arms.

So who knows, perhaps a quick prayer to the patron saint of salmon will lead more fish to your nets.

 

 

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