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52399 February

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  • ambrois@xtra.co.nz
    Feb 12, 2014
      Celtic 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
      MacGroarty), Abbot
      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
      in two]

      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
      (Benedictines, Montague).

      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
      (Benedictines, Encyclopaedia).

      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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      2nd edition, revised and updated by Catherine Rachel John.
      New York: Penguin Books.

      Attwater, D. (1958). A dictionary of saints. New York:
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      Baring-Gould, S The Lives of the Saints, 15 volumes:
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      Encyclopaedia of Catholic Saints, October. (1966).
      Philadelphia: Chilton Books.

      Farmer, D. H. (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Saints.
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      Ford, Edward. Cathedrals, Abbeys and Famous Churches
      - Llandaff

      Husenbeth, Rev. F. C., DD, VG (ed.). (1928). Butler's
      Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints.
      London: Virtue & Co.

      Montague, H. P. (1981). The Saints and Martyrs of Ireland.
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      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.
      San Francisco: Harper & Row.

      White, K. E. (1992). Guide to the Saints, NY: Ivy Books.

      For All the Saints: - new active link

      An Alphabetical Index of the Saints of the West - new active link

      These Lives are archived at:

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