- Feb 12, 2014Celtic and Old English Saints 9 February
* St. Teilo of Llandaff
* St. Muirdach MacRobartaigh
* St. Alto of Altomuenster
* St. Cronan the Wise
* St. Cuaran the Wise
* St. Eingan of Llanengan
St. Teilo of Llandaff, Bishop
Born near Penally by Tenby, Pembrokeshire; died c. 580. There is plenty
of evidence, both documentary and from place names and dedications, that
Saint Teilo was widely venerated in southern Wales and Brittany. (His
name may be spelled Teilio, Teilus, Thelian, Teilan, Teilou, Teliou,
Elidius, Eliud, Dillo, or Dillon.) He was undoubtedly an influential
churchman, whose principal monastic foundation and centre of ministry
was Llandeilo Fawr in Carmarthenshire.
Some facts are fairly certain. Teilo was educated under Saint Dyfrig
(Dubricius; f.d. November 14) and a Paulinus, possibly Paul Aurelian
(f.d. March 12) through whom he met Saint David (Dewi).In his school
days, his fellows had suggested that his name was derived from the Greek
word for the sun and there is no doubt that in his later life he was
regarded as a shining light, illuminating and warming the Church in
We are told among other things that Teilo went with Saint David and
Saint Paternus (f.d. April 16) on David's pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and
with them shares the title of the Three Blessed Visitors to Britain. It
is also related that during the 'yellow plague,' so called "because it
made everyone it attacked yellow and bloodless," he went to Brittany and
stayed with Saint Samson (f.d. July 28) at Dol. There they "planted a
big orchard of fruit-trees, three miles long, reaching from Dol to Cai,
which is still called after their names." After the time with his friend
S.Samson at Dol, he was a guest for a while with Budic, a chieftain of
Brittany, who had married his sister Anaumed. After seven years and
seven months, he returned to Llandaff taking his nephew Oudoceus with
him, who was later to succeed him.
Through the prayers of St Teilo and of all the Saints of
Wales, Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us!
Much of the writing about Saint Teilo was composed in the interests of
the medieval see of Llandaff, which claimed him as its second bishop.
About 1130, Geoffrey (Galfridus), a priest of Llandaff, composed a
"vita" of Teilo in the form of a sermon. A longer version of this life,
altered to add importance to the diocese of Llandaff, can be found in
the "Liber Landavensis." Teilo is co-titular patron of the Llandaff
cathedral with Saints Peter, Dubricius, and Oudoceus (Euddogwy). The
last-named was Teilo's nephew and successor at Llandaff.
The "Gospels of Saint Chad" (f.d. March 2) (written in southwestern
Mercia about 700 AD) became the property of a church of Saint Teilo;
marginal notes show that in the 9th century Teilo was venerated in
southern Wales as the founder of a monastery called the "Familia
Teliavi.". The book itself was regarded as belonging to Teilo; the curse
of God and the saint is invoked on those who break the agreements
contained in it.
One of the wise sayings ascribed to S.Teilo is, "It is not good to
contend against God", and he is reputed to have answered S.Cadoc's
question "What is the greatest wisdom in a man?" with the words, "To
refrain from injuring another when he has the power to do so." When the
saint died at Llandeilo Fawr the clergy there contended with those of
Penally and Llandaff for custody of his body, but eventually they agreed
to leave the decision to God. Next morning they found that the one body
had become three so they all could claim to have his relics. His
biographer makes it quite clear that he believes that the real body went
to Llandaff and was translated into the present Cathedral. It lies on
the south side of the presbytery, beneath a Norman window, with an
effigy of a bishop on top of the tomb, which dates from the fourteenth
century. The tomb of Saint Teilo, on which oaths are taken, is in
Llandaff Cathedral. It was opened in 1850. Inside it was a record of
another opening in 1736: "the person buried appear'd to be a bishop by
his Pastorall Staffe and Crotcher." The staff disintegrated but the
pewter crozier remained. In medieval times it was the custom to take
solemn oaths "upon the tomb of St.Teilo and upon all the holy relics in
the same church".
Outside of Wales, Teilo's name is especially venerated in Landeleau
(diocese of Quimper), Brittany. His feast is still observed in the
archdiocese of Cardiff and on Caldey Island (Attwater, Benedictines,
Farmer, Husenbeth, Walsh).
Troparion of St Teilo tone 4
As a fountain of the true Faith,/ thou didst issue forth the life-giving
waters of salvation, O Hierarch Teilo./ Wherefore, we implore thee,/
intercede with Christ our God/ that our souls may be saved.
Kontakion of St Teilo tone 1
O teacher of pure doctrine, joy of monastics/ and Dewi Sant's fellow
pilgrim to Jerusalem,/ where thou wast elevated to the episcopate, most
pious Father Teilo,/ we keep festival in thy honour, praying for grace
to follow in thy footsteps.
St. Marianus Scotus (Muirdach MacRobartaigh or Muiredach
Born in Donegal, Ireland; died 1088. The noble MacRobartaigh family is
related to the O'Donnels, who were the hereditary keepers of the Cathach
(Battle Book of Colmcille). In 1067, Muirdach set out with some
companions on a pilgrimage to Rome. En route he was induced to become a
Benedictine at Michelsberg Abbey (near Bamberg), Germany. The pilgrims
stopped to rest at a hostel maintained by the local convent. Its abbess,
Emma, learned that Muirdach was extraordinarily gifted at producing
manuscripts. Using the seemingly irresistible powers of persuasion that
all nuns seem to have, he took up her suggestion and migrated to Upper
Minster at Regensburg to create the literary treasures of Saint Peter's
Church in Regensburg. The most famous of these are the Pauline Epistles
that now reside in the Imperial Library at Vienna, Austria. The quality
and quantity of his artful productions, which appear inspired by the
Holy Spirit gained for him a reputation for
In 1078, he founded and became the abbot of the abbey of Saint Peter in
Regensburg. Having successfully taken charge of the church and abbey
attached to it for the task of copying manuscripts, other Irish monks
were attracted to the mission. The abbey expanded to the point that,
within 10 years, plans were made for another such monastery. In this
way, Muirdach originated the congregation of 12 "Scottish," that is,
Irish monasteries in southern Germany. (The reason for the term
"Scottish" is that it was used from the time of the Romans for the
Irish. Even 200 years after the establishment of the Scottish monarchy,
the term was commonly used for things Irish.
Saint James Abbey, like the ones to follow, was established with funds
sent from Ireland. They retained the character and enjoyed privileges
normally granted to Irish monasteries.
[St. Muirdach's life straddles the Great Schism which cleft Christendom
St. Alto of Altomuenster, Abbot
Died c. 760. Alto was an Irish monk, who crossed over into Germany about
743 and settled as a hermit in a forest near Augsburg. King Pepin,
hearing of Alto's holiness, gave him the land there on which Alto
founded the monastery of Altomuenster in Upper Bavaria. Saint Boniface
(f.d. June 5) dedicated its church in 750. In 1000 AD, according to
tradition, Alto appeared in a vision to the king of Bavaria and asked
him to restore the abbey, which the king did. Altomuenster, which has
been a Brigittine abbey for five centuries, still survives
Saint Alto is represented as a bishop with the Christ-child and a
chalice. At times he is shown with Saint Virgilius of Salzburg (f.d.
November 27) or Saint Bridget (Roeder).
St. Cronan the Wise, Bishop
8th century (?). The Irish Bishop Saint Cronan is called "the wise"
because he systematized Irish canon law. He was a lover of liturgy and
modesty. Cronan may be the same person as Bishop Saint Ronan of Lismore
St. Cuaran (Curvinus, Cronan) the Wise, Bishop
Died after 700. Saint Cuaran was another Irish bishop known for his
wisdom. He concealed his episcopal status in order to become a simple
monk at Iona, where, however, he was recognised by Saint Columba (f.d.
June 9) (Benedictines).
St. Eingan of Llanengan, Hermit
(Einganor Eneon, Einion, Eneon, Anianus)
6th century (died c. 590); feast day sometimes shown as April 21. The
British (or Scotus) prince Saint Eingan or Eneon Bhrenin, left
Cumberland for Wales, where he ended his days as a hermit at Llanengan
near Bangor. He is said to have been a son of the chieftain Cunedda,
whose family claims no less than 50 saints (Benedictines).
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Principal Saints of the Christian Year. NY: Facts on File.
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Dictionary. New York: Hawthorn Books.
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Doble, G. H. (1942). Saint Teilo.
Encyclopaedia of Catholic Saints, October. (1966).
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Ford, Edward. Cathedrals, Abbeys and Famous Churches
Husenbeth, Rev. F. C., DD, VG (ed.). (1928). Butler's
Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints.
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Montague, H. P. (1981). The Saints and Martyrs of Ireland.
Guildford: Billing & Sons.
Roeder, H. (1956). Saints and Their Attributes, Chicago: Henry
Tabor, M. E. (1908). The Saints in Art with Their Attributes
and Symbols Alphabetically Arranged.
London: Methuen & Co.
Walsh, M. (ed.). (1985). Butler's Lives of the Saints.
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White, K. E. (1992). Guide to the Saints, NY: Ivy Books.
For All the Saints: - new active link
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