Saint Samson of York

detail of an icon of Saint Samson of York; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Samson of Dol
  • Samson of Brittany
  • Sampson…
  • Sansone…



Born to the Welsh nobility; brother of Saint Gwenyth of Cornwall and Saint Veep. At age seven, Samson was sent to the abbey of Llanwit Major in South Glamorgan for instruction by the abbot, Saint Illtud. Ordained in 512. Retired to a small monastery on Caldey Island to deepen his prayer life; later chosen its abbot.

Around 516, Samson travelled to Ireland with some Irish monks, hoping to learn from them. However, Samson soon gained a reputation for holiness, and many came to him for prayers on their behalf. Uncomfortable with fame, Samson returned to the anonymity of Cornwall.

Bishop in 520, ordained by Saint Dubricius. Soon after, Samson received a vision from God telling him to evangelize Brittany. He and some monks there established a monastery at Dol that later became the center of a new diocese. Samson spent the rest of his life in Brittany, gaining renown for wisdom, holiness and dedication, and is regarded by many as one of the greatest Welsh saints.



  • 565 at Dol-de-Bre-ta-paign, Brittany of natural causes


MLA Citation

  • “Saint Samson of York“. CatholicSaints.Info. 21 July 2020. Web. 20 April 2021. <>