→Oral traditions, legends, and legacy
The verses refer to the following:
— Mungo restored life to the pet robin of Saint Serf, which had been killed by some of his classmates, hoping to blame him for its death.The Tree — Mungo had been left in charge of a fire in Saint Serf's monastery . He fell asleep and the fire went out. Taking branches from a tree, he restarted the fire.The Bell — the bell is thought to have been brought by Mungo from Rome. It was said to have been used in services and to mourn the deceased. The original bell no longer exists, and a replacement, created in the 1640s, is now on display in Glasgow.The Fish — refers to the story about Queen Languoreth of Strathclyde who was suspected of infidelity by her husband. King Riderch demanded to see her ring, which he claimed she had given to her lover. In reality the King had thrown it into the River Clyde. Faced with execution she appealed for help to Mungo, who ordered a messenger to catch a fish in the river. On opening the fish, the ring was miraculously found inside, which allowed the Queen to clear her name. An almost identical story concerns King Maelgwn of Gwynedd and Saint Asaph.
These four miracles in Glasgow are represented in the city's coat of arms. Glasgow's current motto Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of His word and the praising of His name and the more secular Let Glasgow flourish, are both inspired by Mungo's original call "Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the word." In a late 15th century fragmentary manuscript generally called "Lailoken and Kentigern," Mungo appears in conflict with the mad prophet, Lailoken alias Merlin. Lailoken's appearance at the Battle of Arfderydd in 573 has led to a connection being made between this battle, the rise of Riderch Hael and the return of Mungo to Strathclyde. The Life of Saint Mungo bears similarities with Chrétien de Troyes's French romance Yvain, the Knight of the Lion (Yvain being a derivation of Owain, Kentigern's father). In modern literary fiction, he is the patron saint of Father Brown's parish in G.K. Chesterton's "Father Brown" mystery series, and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling refers to St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries as a place for treating wizards.