So in our first Glasgow Private Tour blog about the patron saint of Glasgow - St Mungo, we heard the horrific story of what happened to him mum. In the second, we learned about how Glasgow came to be named, how he was bullied by his colleagues at the monastery and about the first couple of his miracles.
Having gotten quite comfortable in his “Glaschu” – dear green place, once more Mungo was faced with adversity. King Morken of Strathclyde (where contemporary Glasgow is located) didn’t want his people to convert into Christianity and Mungo was forced to leave.
So off Mungo went and (via an initial visit to Wales) undertook a pilgrimage to Rome to meet the Pope. From that trip it is said that he brought back a bell - allegedly given to him by the Pontiff himself.
The new King Riderch Hael of Strathclyde was a bit more open minded about religion and was quite happy for Mungo to come back.
In the meantime it turned out that king’s wife, Queen Langoureth, had
an affair with a knight. She gave her lover a ring that had been given to her by the King. One fateful day the King saw the ring on the finger of the knight. He hatched a plan for revenge.
He insisted they on a trip together and while the knight was sleeping after a busy day hunting, he took the ring from him and threw it in the river Clyde. Back at court, the devious King asked his wife to show him the ring he had gifted her, and when she failed to do so, she was taken to prison and promptly sentenced to execution.
However the devastated and desperate Queen begged for forgiveness and help from Mungo. Leaping into action, he in turn sent a messenger to the river and told him to go fishing, as he declared the first fish to be caught would have the ring inside.
The messenger returned with an old rusty shopping trolley.. No, not really - he caught the fish and yes the fish had the ring inside it! Another Miracle! The ring was produced from the belly of a salmon and was secretly brought to the Queen, who in turn presented it to the King. The King couldn’t believe his eyes, and had no choice to forgive her. She promised to Mungo never to be an adulterer again and her life and marriage were spared.
Whether you tour Glasgow Must Sees or Glasgow West End, you can’t avoid the presence of the patron saint. All four lines of a rhyme to remember his miracles are incorporated in the city crest that you can see everywhere around Glasgow.
Here is the tree that never grew (the frozen branches bursting into fire)
Here is the bird that never flew (the resurrected pet bird of St Serf)
Here is the bell that never rang (his holy present from the Pope)
Here is the fish that never swam (the salmon that saved the day).