Source book from
"Memorials of the see and cathedral of Llandaff derived from the Liber landavensis" by Walter de Gray Birch (1912)
from original documents in the British museum, H. M. record office, the Margam muniments, etc.
The handwriting of which has been attributed to a period between A.D.1154 and 1175. On Friday, the 7th of May,1120, being leap year, Edgar the Hermit's teeth, together with the bones of St. Dubricius were removed from Bardsey Island and translated to Llandaff by Urban the Bishop, with the consent of Ralph, Archbishop of Canterbury, and the assent of David, Bishop of Bangor, and Grifud, King of Guenedotia, and the applause of all the clergy and people, and on Sunday, tenth of the kalends of June (23rd May).
|Genealogy contained in these Lives shown in blue and in the following chart|
|LIFE OF EDGAR THE HERMIT|
The man Elgar, a native of England, born in Devonshire, in his infancy taken prisoner by a fleet of pirates, was as usual conveyed to Ireland, in captivity, where for some time he led a servile life. At length on the death of his master he was released from captivity, and came into the possession of the king, when he was again obliged to bear the yoke of servitude, and so' far that during the reign of King Reotri, tlie grandson of Conchor, he performed with his own hands, the office of executioner on those who had been condemned to death by the judgment of the regal court. Greatly dissatisfied, and leading a life contrary to his inclination, in grief and sorrow, among his enemies, he hoped for the mercy of God to release him by death, but at length obtained his liberty. Having performed penance suitable to his state, he left the country altogether, and being mindful of his misfortunes took ship, and suffering shipwreck landed on the isle of Enli (now better known as Bardsey), a place, which according to the British custom, was called the Rome of Britain, on account of the dangerous passage to it by sea, and its distance, being situated at the extremity of the kingdom, and for its sanctity and dignity; sanctity because there were buried therein the bodies of twent}' thousand holy confessors and martyrs; dignity because it was surrounded on all sides by the sea, having a lofty promontory on the eastern side, its western coast was plain and fertile with a sweet flowing fountain. It was partly maritime and abounded with dolphins; was completely free from serpents and frogs, and no one died therein in the life time of a brother who was older than himself. Whereas he had a knowledge of the fertility, and especially of the sanctity of the place, he commended the sailors to Christ, and resolved to lead the life of a hermit, and being uninstructed from his having been brought up without education, he daily reaped improvement. After spending the space of seven years with a religious community of brethren, and sometimes in solitude, he led a holy, glorious, and chaste life with scant food, slight clothing, and an emaciated countenance. During the following seven years, when all Guenedotia (North Wales), was desolated, he dwelt in the desert, and had nothing for his maintenance, except the support which he received through the providence of God, from ministering creatures, from the fish of the sea, and what the eagles, or, as we may say, angels, brought to him.
On a certain day, the Master Cadoc came to see whether the brother were alive or dead; and, to his joy, finding the servant of God, living, said to him, "O beloved, who has maintained thee, being so completely separated from all mankind, No one, I am certain, from our country, which is desolated, and for a long time estranged from thee through want of communication by sea?" These and other enquiries having been made, the good man, who was the most learned of all Gualia (Wales), being skilled in the knowledge of both kinds of law, ancient and modern, descended from a noble family, and emment in secular learning, with bended knees before the holy person, and with sighs, and the shedding of tears, strongly intreated him to give him an account of his life, which was unknown to man and known only to God. Thus prevailed on at length by intreaty, he related to him the particulars of his solitary life, as to his lord and master.
"Now, dearly beloved Father, I will make known to thee the mercy that has been shown to me, not on account of my very inconsiderable merit, but through the bounty and goodness of God, who has always given comfort to me; holy Spirits assuming to themselves, with divine concurrence, the likeness of corporeal substance according to the belief supported by Scripture, which testifies that a Spirit hath not flesh and bones, do constantly day and night administer to me, as to one poor and infirm and suffering shipwreck; through whose care I know not the lack of joy and prosperity nor the presence of penury and poverty. They always declare to me what is true and always promise what is right, describing to me the present life to be as a flower of the field, and the future as the odour of balm, comforting me that I may not faint in the way, whereas having vanquished the enemy, I should be rewarded with a heavenly crown. Although separated from me when they meet together, I know them by our frequent intercourse with each other, to be Dubricius. Archbishop of Western Britain, Daniel, Bishop of the Church of Bangor, St. Paternus, and many others, whose bodies are buried in this island. One of them said to me at one time or other, 'Go tomorrow to the cave of the confessor Greit, and when there, fatigued by the journey, and intent on prayer, lie down and God will give thee wherewith in those days thou mayest sustain thy body, and thus on every third day in the morning God will give thee a fish from the rock, although it be apart from the sea, and elevated many paces above it.' The fish, which was sent me in this manner, at length became distasteful and disagreeable, and my appetite failing, owing to the meagre and watery nature of its daily food, it was taken away in consequence of the complaint which I made."
"Another time, I was told, 'Go to the harbour, and thou wilt have a sea fish of great size, wherewith thou mayest be maintained.' And I pierced, with a small knife, the side of the fish I found, which feeling the wound, leaped, and precipitated itself into the sea, completely escaping out of my hands."
"Reflecting on my hasty and hostile act, I repented having inflicted the wound, and returned unprovided to my sheltering place. After some time, my appetite inciting me, I sought for aid as usual. On the following night the holy persons appeared, and said, 'O thou incredulous person, why wert thou so hasty? What God has sent to thee, he will not take away; what he has taken from thee today, he will restore tomorrow. Go to the same place, and there thou wilt find the said fish dead, and also the knife.' And it was so."
"Another time, when hunger was pressing me, the accustomed persons said, 'Go thy usual road.' And I went and found a large white stag, and I said, 'What need have I of so much food, and of which I have not been accustomed to partake?' I returned to the oratory, and as usual, they said to their servant 'The Lord will give thee nothing else for food this time, besides what thou hast found today.' And returning to the harbour, I found the stag again, which was food for me for some considerable time. Sometimes the eagles administered to me, by divine appointment, of the fishes of the sea in the usual manner, and as was necessary, with some herbs, likewise, and water, and small sea-fish."
These and many other particulars having been related, Master Cadoc hastened to the harbour, and said to his brother, "O pious one! O beloved one! Leave the solitude, that thou mayest be comforted, and restored to thy former state, and thou shalt receive from me for some time the comforts of food, and clothing." Having heard these words, he (Edgar) hastened to the oratory, and having received an answer from the holy persons, said, "O Father (Cadoc), I have not so much liberty, nor rashness, as to follow thee any more in this life. Depart, Brother, with great speed, while the wind is favourable, on giving to thee my small blessing, and receiving from thee thy large one."
After these things, he led his present life to the Lord, and unknown to man, and having prepared a grave for himself in the oratory, he lay down close by it, and expired. While the body was yet warm, some sailors came to the place, and buried what they found there ready for sepulture.
|ST. SAMSON OF DOL|
There was a certain man named Amon, descended from a royal family, of the district of Methia, or Meath, whose wife was Anna, and whose younger brother, Umbrafeles, married his wife's sister, Afrella, who had three sons, but Anna remained for a long time childless. Both Amon and his wife grieved much at her long barrenness, and were apprehensive lest after their death the inheritance of the head of the family would be lost without remedy so as not to be by any means recovered; old age, and the time of their sepulture also fast approaching, and being almost without hope of offspring, they said to one another; "Did not barren Elizabeth become the mother of the great St. John (Baptist) after she was hopeless of children? Is not the Lord, who has created all things, always the same throughout ages, both adorable and wonderful, and to whom all things are possible, and all things which are conceived and effected by thought, word, and deed, are manifest, and our past, present and future to us, are all present to him, and who of his good will hath redeemed mankind from their sinful state and ancient corruption? He, the same in all things, will deliver us sinners from this childless state. Let us, therefore, have recourse to fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, and he who delivered the three youths, Shadracb, Meshach, and Abednego, from the furnace, and from prison, will release us from sin, and cause us to rejoice in our offspnng and heir." Prayer having been made, together with fasting, they entreated St. Dubricius, Archbishop of Western Britain, and Illtyd the Abbot, that by their supplication the great Creator and Governor would give them offspring, and they vowed to God, that should he grant this, they would especially dedicate the child to him for the acquisition of learning and the performance of holy offices.
These things being done, they went with presents to a certain learned man, who lived at a considerable distance northwards, and had prophesied what was true to many persons, to visit whom they proceeded, and at whose residence they arrived the third day. Receiving them kindly and with hospitality, he mentioned to them the cause of their journey, and said, "I know the occasion of your coming; make a silver rod, equal in height to thy wife, and bestow alms on poor Christians, and thou shalt obtain offspring, and the objects of thy wishes." Which Amon hearing, said, "I will give three rods equal in height to her."
On the following night the blessed Anna saw in a dream an angel, who said unto her, "The Lord hath deigned to comfort thy sorrow, and thy tears shall be turned into joy, for thou shalt bear a son, and call him Samson, one worthy of Episcopal office, and he shall be seven times whiter than that silver which thy husband gave for thee to God."
All the things which she heard from the angel she truly related to her husband. The learned man rising in the morning, spoke to Anna, saying, "The Lord revealed to me this night respecting thee, and thy offspring, that he will be such as Britain has never yet produced nor ever will produce." And as it is said, "The Lord is wonderful among his Saints!" By the supplication of the holy men, the woman conceived, and bore a son; and the name of Samson was given him by St. Illtyd, who uplifted him at the sacred font, and baptized him.
On his return to his father's residence, the child increased daily in bodily comeliness and stature, and when he attained some growth, his countenance was lovely, and his form pleasing, not only to his family, but also to strangers, for, as he increased in stature, he also increased in wisdom and discretion. When he spoke, he was heard with great attention on account of his intelligence, so that the clergy and people said, "This boy will become to us a man who will be the comfort and hope of all the country, a man of wonderful reflection and great prudence, and as is said of a good son, the joy of all his family."
His father Ammon, when sleeping one night, was affrighted, and suddenly awakened by a fearful vision; and speaking aloud, said "How terrified am I! How I tremble! O, how feeble I perceive myself! I am scarce able to raise my hand, or move my foot." His wife hearing his cry, and observing his stupor said to him, "O, good man! O, my husband! You cry out; why do you cry? You mourn; what is the cause of your mourning? Have you seen anything unpleasant in a dream, or before it?" For it is usual, that when anything is thought of before sleep, the same will engage the mind during sleep.
He said, "I was thinking of my only son, and noticed his eminent qualities in all things, and suitable for a regal court, as became his family, and fit only for governing the people with the sword and civil law, to which improper thought, impiously and unjustly occupying my mind, I did not assent, because God had given him, at a particular time, that I might be comforted, and because I had promised to him before the time of conception, and after birth engaged the same to him, and to my exalted father Dubricius, and patron Illtyd, and could I, in his early age, take him away? For he whom I proposed to be an heir in this world, will shortly be an heir in paradise, and we shall be partakers together of eternal happiness and glory."
Both the father and mother agreeing to the same thing, they voluntarily brought up their only son for the performance of what was good; and although he was but of small appearance, yet, with very much joy wished to go again and visit Illtyd, who, having their son entrusted to him for ever when he was five years old, taught him, so that he excelled in learning those of his age; and he who was a scholar, became forthwith, in a wonderful manner, both master and scholar at the same time. His lord and master, St. Illtyd, so loved him, that at all times he held him dearer than all the other scholars, and he performed with him more often the service of the church.
St. Illtyd labouring that he might obtain rest, and living by labour that he might procure a livelihood, had a cornfield, to keep which in autumn, he sent his scholars by turns, that they might prevent the sparrows from devouring the barley, as they were accustomed to do.
At length, the employment came to the turn of Samson, who with great joy undertook the office. He collected together, like a flock of sheep, all the white sparrows that were flying about, and brought them to the barn, and having shut the door, he returned to the corn and as there was not a sparrow there, he slept for some time. His associates wondering at the delay of Samson, and being seized with envy, at length said, "Let us go, and see, for we do not know what the favourite boy may be doing." And finding him asleep; being glad, they came to the master, and said, "Him whom thou lovest we have found sleeping, lazy, and disobedient." And together with him they returned to the boy. When they came to him they awoke him, saying, "Boy, are the sparrows, thine and our enemies, asleep? or hast thou killed them all with thy sling?"
And he at length deliberately and without any warmth, said, "I found the plunderers in the corn, and with the aid of God, I keep them in prison for the common benefit of both us and you, and while they are all confined in the barn, we shall not any more have occasion to take care of, and keep watch over them." And thus it was done.
The Abbot Illtyd, disciple of St. Germanus, skilled in human and divine learning, of noble birth, and foreknowing future things, gave thanks to God, and looking towards heaven said, "God has been pleased to send to us this Samson to be a light to the country. Lo, a venerable head of us all, and eminent priest, who will greatly benefit the church of God! Lo, an excellent Minister! Lo, the most skilful founder of churches since the Apostles!"
Charity and wisdom increased in him in so wonderful a manner, that in a few years he seemed to excel his master in knowledge, with whom he led for a length of time, a holy, excellent and honourable life, and the longer he remained with him, the more he gained improvement; what he spoke with his mouth, he believed in his heart, and what he believed afforded him delight. On a certain day, he and his master meeting with an abstruse question, which they could not understand, St. Samson had recourse to fasting, and watching, and sought to obtain from the Lord what he could not through his master. In the third night of fasting, he heard a voice saying unto him, "Fatigue thyself no more; those things, and whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, thou shalt obtain."
On another time, in the summer, when the brethren went to work at the harvest, a serpent gliding suddenly from a bush, bit one of the brethren in the groin, who being about to draw his last breath, St. Samson set the mark of the cross on the bite of the serpent, and giving him water mixed with oil, restored him in health to the brethren.
St. Illtyd observing St. Samson to increase in performing miracles, caused him to be ordained a deacon, and when Bishop Dubricius, together with Illtyd, celebrated the mass of his ordination, he saw a dove sent from heaven resting on St. Samson in a wonderful manner; and when the Bishop lifted up his hands to him, the dove descended to his right shoulder, and remained there as long as the Bishop performed the office. Not many years after these things took place, he was ordained a priest, and a dove from heaven descended upon him as before, and by its innocence marked him to be elect of God.
This Illtyd had in his monastery two nephews, who were cousins, of whom, one was a cleric and the other, who was without a degree, was his cellarer. The cleric was desirous of possessing the monastery after the death of his uncle, but fearing lest St. Samson should be unanimously chosen Abbot on account of his virtues, and by that means he should be deprived of the monastery, he with his brother, entered into a deadly design. The brethren of that place having a custom of drinking a potion of herbs after mass, the cellarer by the advice of his brother, prepared poison, and having skilfully proved it to be mortal, he poured it into the cup of St. Samson; which he, by the Holy Spirit, understanding to be the case, blessed the cup, drank it all up, and felt no ill effects from it. On the same day after dinner, St. Samson had some familiar discourse with the cellarer. "My dear brother," said he, "may God heal thee of every disorder, because the cup which thou didst give me today has produced great benefit to my body." Hearing these things, being repentant, he sighed, and admonished his brother, the instigator of the crime, to repent, but he refused.
On the following Sunday, when the same cleric received the Holy Communion from the hands of St. Samson, he was that instant seized by the Devil, becoming pale, and tearing himself forthwith, and gnashing with his teeth, he said to those who were standing by, "Why do ye stand here? If I did not see Samson my master present, I should care nothing for you.'' Illtyd, when he saw this, ordered him to be bound, and led out, but his brother, hearing these things, confessed the crime to both, and besought pardon of St. Samson, and St. Samson being affected with grief, wept, and having blessed water and oil, directed them to be given him to drink, and thereby he released him from the influence of the Devil. Therefore it came to pass, by the just judgment of God, that the headship, which the offender wickedly sought for, he could never obtain.
There was not far from this monastic establishment, a certain island, in which was a monastery built by one named Piro, to that place St. Samson went speedily, God conducting him and the master favouring the proceedings, and there he led a glorious and angelic life, amiable in his manners, intent on good works, and constant in his devotions.
After these things, one winter, the father of St. Samson being afflicted with severe illness, was admonished by his neighbours, that, as was usual, he should receive the holy Communion, but he strongly affirmed that he should not taste of death, nor receive the Sacrament, nor recover health before he saw his son Samson, and that on his account he should receive the health of his body, and of his soul, at the same time.
His relatives therefore sent messengers to him, requesting that he would visit his father, who was lying at the point of death; but Samson affected with grief said, "God is able without me to heal the sick." At length, being prevailed on by the entreaty of the Abbot, he sent back the messengers, and consented that he would come.
In the morning, therefore, having received the blessing of his Abbot, he commenced his journey with a young deacon, and when they had passed through a great desert, they heard a dreadful voice near them. The deacon becoming frightened by this voice left his horse, and throwing off his cloak betook himself to flight, when the hairy and horned (witch) Theomaca, who had a three-pronged lance, and was flying through the woods, prostrated him half dead. But St. Samson proceeded intrepidly, and seeing Theomaca escaping at a distance, called after her, saying, "In the name of Jesus Christ, stop, and speak to me." And he asked her, "Who art thou ?" She answered, "I am Theomaca; my parents have always been enemies to you, and no one of my kindred has dwelt in this wood except myself. I have eight sisters, and a mother, who are still living, and dwell in the further wood, and I was given to my husband in this desert, but because he is dead I cannot depart from this wood."
To whom St. Samson said, "Canst thou restore to life the brother whom thou hast smitten, and desist from evil ?" She answered, "I cannot either cure him, or become better, for from my infancy I have always led a wicked life."
St. Samson said, "In the name of Jesus Christ, I command thee that thou no longer injure mankind, and that thou very quickly depart from this life." She then immediately gave a precipitous leap, fell down, and expired, St. Samson returning to his brother, who was nearly dead, after the manner of Elisha applied his mouth, and limbs to those same parts belonging to him, and so restored him to health.
They then proceeded on their journey, and on the third day came to Ammon, who when he saw them, said with great joy, "Lo, the remedy for my body, and soul, which the Lord was pleased to show me in a dream!" And on that day he was, by the blessing of St. Samson, healed of his disease, and by his earnest request, he, with his brother Umbrafeles, was induced to take the monastic habit, and both the venerable Anna, and her sister Affrella, were consecrated by his blessing. Of his property, he gave part to the poor, part for the building of a monastery, and part for the use of his mother and brothers.
All things being set in order by the favour of the Holy Spirit, he took with him his father, and uncle, and returned to the monastery by a road, different from that by which he came In the same road also he found a serpent of wonderful size, which by his word alone he destroyed.
When he returned to the monastery, he found Bishop Dubricius remaining there, the season of Lent having commenced. The Bishop called the deacon to him, and being informed by him of all things that had been done on the road, received St. Samson and his companions with very great honour, and on that day appointed St. Samson to be cellarer of the place.
He, therefore, and as if divinely directed, administered to the brethren with great diligence, and gave to the poor, as far as he was able, but a brother who had been before him in the same office, envying his good works, said that St. Samson expended all things wastefully and had improperly emptied the vessels that had been filled with mead. Which the Bishop hearing, and being desirous of knowing the truth, went into the cellar, of which Samson being informed by the Holy Spirit, marked the vessels that had been emptied with the sign of the cross, and the Bishop found them full. And the Bishop wondering believed him to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and adjudged him to be worthy of a higher office
. After these things, and an interval of a few days, the death of Piro took place, and St. Samson was unanimously elected Abbot of the monastery, and he obeying, but not willingly, held the government of that congregation three years and a half.
Afterwards, some very learned Scots (Irish) returning from Rome, came to him, whom, on examination, he discovered to be eminent persons, with the consent of the Bishop, he therefore, went with them to their country, where sojourning for a short time, he was received by all religious persons as an angel. He restored sight to the blind, cleansed the lepers, cast devils out of men, and to all shewed the way of salvation.
After he had remained sometime in the district, he was desirous of returning to his own country, and finding a ship ready for the purpose, he was entreated by the sailors to go on board it, to whom he answered "We must do the works of God before we sail from this province." The sailors being provoked to anger, hoisted their sails, but he answered, ''Go in peace, and return today, tomorrow we shall set out together." When they departed, lo, one came to him, requesting that he would visit the neighbouring monastery and saying, "Our Abbot desires to see thee for the Devil has seized him, and holds him bound." St. Samson went and found him so circumstanced, who on meeting him, cried with a loud voice, "Lo, him whom I have always sought; lo, him, whom I have with great devotion desired to see." On the praying of St. Samson, the demoniac was restored to health, and leaving the monastery followed him. Having blessed the brethren in the monastery, he departed and found the ship returned to the harbour as he had predicted. In the morning he and his companions went into the ship, and the wind being favourable, he arrived the next day at the island wherein he had first dwelt.
On entering the monastery, he found his father, and uncle, excelling in conduct all others who lived there, on which account he gave thanks to the Almighty. Therefore he took his uncle Umbrafeles, who now performed the office of priest, and sent him to be Abbot of the monastery in Hibernia (Ireland), wherein he had liberated the former Abbot from the Devil.
St. Samson, with Ammon and the aforesaid Abbot, and a certain brother who was a priest, entered into a very large wilderness, and found therein, near the river Severn, a cottage in which was a most delightful fountain, and there he placed the brother and his two companions. Proceeding into the interior of the wilderness, he found a very secret cave, having its entrance towards the east, with which he was much pleased, as though prepared by God, and therein, by his prayers he caused a fountain to spring up; in this place he devoted his time to God without intermission, and did not fear the snares of the world, being accustomed to the discourse of angels. He commended himself to the Most High, and on every Sabbath day he visited and held intercourse with his three brothers, whom he had placed in the wilderness.
Now, when a Synod was held, and the chief persons of the district enquired where St. Samson resided, one came forward, who said that he knew the cave wherein he led a heavenly life, and being with others, sent to him, he was brought to the Synod, where, on beholding him, he was received as an angel, and was, against his inclination, appointed Abbot of the monastery that had been built by St. Germanus. In this monastery they had, out of reverence. Bishops to sit in the chair of St. Peter, when they assembled together.
It happened that on one annual festival of the Bishop, in the night he saw himself surrounded with very numerous persons clothed in white, and three eminent Bishops adorned with golden crowns, standing before him, and about to enter with them into the church to pray, whose names, and the cause of their coming, he delicately and humbly enquired, and the prince of the vision said, "I am Peter, the apostle of Christ, and these are James and John the Evangelist, the brothers of the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ has pre-elected thee, to be a Bishop, and has sent us to consecrate thee." Then they vanished out of his sight.
And the Bishops coming on the appointed day, brought with them two persons to be ordained, yet they were desirous to ordain three, in honour of the Holy Trinity, but whom they should choose, they did not know. On the following night, therefore an angel of the Lord stood by St. Dundricius, and directed him to ordain St. Samson to be Bishop, and St. Dubricius, with joy, on account of the heavenly vision, caused the brethren of the congregation to be assembled together, and he related to them, rejoicing, what he had heard from the angel; therefore, they all with acclamation gave thanks to God, and placed him with the others in the episcopal chair. All who were present, saw a dove sent from heaven resting steadfastly on him whilst he was consecrated, and on that day, as St. Samson was celebrating the holy mysteries, St. Dubricius with two monks, saw a stream of fire to proceed glittering from his mouth, and at all times of his life, when he celebrated mass, angels were seen to assist him in performing the service of the altar.
On a certain eve of the Resurrection of our Lord, as he watched, and prayed in the church, an angel of the Lord, in great brightness stood by him, and that he might not fear, comforted him saying, "Samson, dearly beloved of the Lord act manfully, and depart from our land and thy kindred, for thou art predestined by God to be a magnificent founder of monasteries beyond sea, and a glorious governor among the people." These and similar things, the angel throughout the night, congratulating him, predicted to the holy man, and in the morning, he called the clergy and people together, and not resisting, but rather obeying the heavenly vision, with the greatest love, said, "O Father by the laying on of whose holy hand I, although unworthy, am exalted, an angelic vision compels me to leave my native country, and to go speedily beyond sea, and expressly to proceed to the Armorican lands of the British race."
Having heard these things, the blessed Archbishop Dubricius hesitated not to permit him to go among the Bretons, because he was acquainted with their language, and knowing him to be endued with divine power, and adorned with good morals and sanctity said, "Be a strong man, contend in battle, the prayers of Britain will attend thee hence with joy and alacrity."
And so, having received the blessing of the Father Dubricius, and of the Abbot Illtyd, and of all the clergy and people, he departed! Now having completed the office of the Paschal solemnity, and prepared a ship, he took some brethren with him, and went on this side the Severn sea, where he visited his country, and mother, and consecrated the church built by her, and also in those parts restored many sick persons to health.
After he had fully instructed his mother, and other relatives, in the words of the Lord, the Almighty leading him, he crossed over the Anferrean sea. When they passed through a certain town which was called Tricurrium (Trigg, Cornwall), he saw there men revelling with profane rites, and worshipping a certain image; which St. Samson seeing, he sighed, and admonished them with prayers, and intreaties that they should forsake the idols, which were inimical to mankind, and worship the one true God, who was in heaven. To whom their Count Gedianus answered, "The God whom you preach we know not, but the gods whom our parents adored, those we worship."
While he spoke these things a certain boy on horseback, riding rapidly around the image, fell to the ground and having broken his neck, lay dead. As they all wept, St. Samson said to them, "You see that your image cannot restore life to this dead youth, if you will destroy your idols, and believe in my God, on calling on the name of the Lord, I will cause your dead one to arise." As they agreed tliereto, St Samson having poured out prayers restored him to life openly before them all, and being astonished at this wonderful, and unheardof sight, they all unanimously destroyed their idols, and believing in Jesus the Son of God, were baptized.
In the same province there was a serpent of vast size, which by its deadly breath had nearly destroyed two districts, and St. Samson being informed thereof, was grieved at the misery of the people, and taking with him the boy whom he had lately restored, Count Gedianus with all the people accompanying him, he went to the cave where it was known the serpent lay hid.
On the next day, as the sun shone, they described, beyond a certain river, the cave, wherein was the serpent, and having there left Count Gedianus and people, he went with the boy, whom he had lately restored, beyond the river. When he came near the mouth of the cave, he ordered the boy to remain at some distance; and being armed with the sign of the Cross he immediately went into the cave, and tied about the neck of the serpent a linen girdle, wherewith he was girt; and drawing him out, threw him headlong from a certain high eminence, and commanded him, in the name of the Lord to live no longer And the boy ran back, and related to Count Gedianus and all the people, what he had seen; therefore they all rejoiced at this great sight, and uttered abundant prayers to God and St. Samson from their very hearts, and Samson directed them to build a monastery near the cave, and he, in the mean time, applied himself to fasting and prayer in the cave where by his prayers a fountain sprang, which continues to flow to this day. And when the people had completed the monastery, and St. Samson consecrated it, he placed his father Ammon, and with him his cousin in the same, but he, God leading him, sailed with his companions to Brittany.
When he came into the harbour, and descended from the ship, he saw a cottage, and therein a certain unhappy person, miserably wailing, and frequently looking towards the sea, to whom Samson said, "Brother, why wailest thou?" And he answered him, "I have in this house a wife afflicted with the leprosy, and a daughter who is a demoniac, whom the Lord promised to heal, by some one from beyond the sea, and whom I have been three days expecting, with the hope that lie will come into this harbour." On hearing these things St. Samson went with him to his house, and praying with supplication, restored them to health.
In the same district he found a very suitable place, wherein he built an honourable monastery, which to this day is called Dol, where he performed many remarkable miracles, and throughout the provinces he built many monasteries.
In those days Count Conomorus, a foreigner, and a cruel and tyrannical person governed all Brittany, having slain Jonas the native Count of the Bretons, and caused his son Judwal to be kept captive by King Childebert and the queen. St. Samson was grieved at their misery, and quickly went to King Childebert, desiring to redeem Judwal from confinement, and to deliver the people from a foreign ruler. When Samson entered into the King's palace, he found a certain Count, that was a demoniac, whom he anointed on the face and breast with consecrated oil, and thereby liberated him from the devil. The King hearing this, and that he came to supplicate for Judwal, and having consulted his nobles, received St. Samson with suitable honour and invited him to dine with him, the Queen however, as she held Judwal bound in captivity, would not release him, and by rejecting the entreaties of St. Samson, and abusing him with reproachful expressions, irritated him, and that she might destroy him, she prepared a deadly drink for him.
When the King and the blessed Archbishop sat down to dinner, and all who were present, congratulated him on his arrival, the Queen at the instigation of the evil one, mixed poison with wine in a glass, and through her servant offered it to St. Samson to drink. But he, being divinely inspired, made the sign of the Cross upon the glass, which thereby broke in four parts, and the poison being shed on the hand of him who held it, the flesh and skin, in the sight of all present, were corroded to the very bone. Then St. Samson said "this drink is not fit to be drunk," and the King being disturbed, and all the people wondering, St. Samson marked the hand of him who had been hurt, and completely restored it.
When the repast was finished, St. Samson, with the permission of the King, hastened to the place where Judwal was kept, to meet whom, the Queen sent a furious horse to destroy him, but the chosen of God marked him with the Cross. Saddled, and mounted, the animal became so mild as if he had been tamed by the King of Heaven under his soldier. Having her heart still hardened, she commanded a fierce lion, with its keepers, to meet and seize him, but the right hand of God protected his elect, and struck, as it were, with a stake, it betook itself to flight! But St. Samson looking after it, said "I command thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, that thou hurt no one any more, and that thou speedily die." When it immediately leaped headlong and expired. And the King beholding so many miracles performed by the holy man, brought forward Judwal released from his chains, and gave him up to him. The Queen likewise, with her favourites, prostrate at his feet, asked pardon of the holy man.
Which being done, and all being pardoned by the grace of God and greatly rejoicing, the King said to St. Samson, " There is a serpent in this province, which afflicts all who dwell around, and because we see thee to shine with miracles, we request that thou wouldst vouchsafe to deliver us from it." To whom St. Samson said, " Find me a guide for the way, and in the power of God, I will expel it from your parts." A guide therefore being found, he took with him two brethren, and leaving the others with Judwal in the place, being confident and always exulting in the Lord, he quickly set out upon his journey, and when he came to the cave in which the serpent was, he there, with bended knees, prayed to the Lord, took the serpent by the neck, brought it out, and commanded it to swim beyond the river called Sigona (Seine), and there remain under a certain stone, and soon after, by his word alone, he drowned it in the sea. And in the same place he built a monastery, and placed therein brethren who should serve Christ. Lastly, King Childebert greatly loved St. Samson for having performed such great miracles, and freely gave him valuable gifts, namely in gold, and silver, in precious vessels, in farms, and various possessions, and commended himself to his prayers.
Taking with him Judwal, he went to Lesia (Lisieux) and Angia (Anjou), and there collected an army, and returned with it to Brittany, St. Samson praying and fasting, and Judwal fighting with the army against Conomorus. Judwal, by the prayers of the holy man at one blow overcame his enemy, and from that time, he and the successors of his family, held the government of Brittany. Soon after, Judwal was triumphantly received by his countrymen, and elected Governor over all Brittany, and he rendered himself, and all who belonged to him, subject to St. Samson, and devoutly commended himself to his prayers. "Let the Governor return thanks to the Redeemer, and the people rejoice, being committed to the care of such a Pastor." Whence the government of all Brittany is observed to belong justly to Dol unto this day. For what great miracles the Lord, on this side the sea, and beyond it, has by him performed, how much his learning shone, the eloquence of no writer, or doctor doth relate.
Perfect in life, and in age, and adorned with all virtues, he was attacked by severe illness in the monastery of Dol, and surrounded by the clergy he yielded his body to the earth, and his soul to heaven. The clergy buried his body with unguents, and in their hearing, the heavenly host with hymns and praises conveyed his soul to Christ. A proof of his blessedness we have, in those miracles which the Lord daily performs by him to the praise and glory of his name, who with God the Father, and Holy Spirit, lives.
Inside St. Illtud's Church at Llantwit Major is the Samson stone:|
"In the name of the most high God
was begun the cross of the Savior which
Samson the abbot prepared for his soul
and for the soul of King Iuthahel (Judwal)
and for Artmal (Arthmael-Arthur) the dead."
|LIFE OF ST. DUBRICIUS|
Dubricius is said to have been consecrated Bishop of Landaff by St Germanicus of Auxerre who died in 448 so it is more likely that he was merely initiated by him. He is shown as still alive in 520, but already retired on Bardsey Island.
There was a certain King of the region of Ercych (Ergyng) of the name of Pepiau, called in the British language Clauorauc, and in Latin, Spumosus, who undertook an expedition against his enemies, and returning from thence he ordered his daughter Ebrdil to wash his head, which when she endeavoured to do, he perceived that she was pregnant. The King, therefore, being angry, ordered her to be put into a sack, and cast headlong into the river, to be carried where chance might take her, which, however, happened contrary to what was expected, for as often as she was placed in the river, so often was she through the guidance of God, impelled to the bank. Her father then being indignant, because he could not drown her in the river, resolved to destroy her with fire. A funeral pile was therefore prepared, into which his daughter was thrown alive.
On the following morning, the messengers who had been sent by her father to ascertain whether any of the bones of his daughter remained, found her holding her son in her lap, at a spot where a stone is placed in testimony of the wonderful nativity of the boy and the place is called Matle, because therein was born the holy man. The father hearing this, ordered his daughter with her son to be brought to him, and when they came, he embraced the infant with paternal affection, as is usual, and kissing him, from the restlessness of infancy, he touched with his hands the face and mouth of his grandfather, and that not without divine appointment, for by the contact of the hands of the infant, he was healed of the incurable disease wherewith he was afflicted, for he incessantly emitted foam from his mouth, which two persons, who constantly attended him, could scarcely wipe off with towels.
Who, when he knew that he had been healed by the touch of the infant rejoiced greatly, like one who had come to a harbour after having suffered shipwreck. And he who at first was as a roaring lion, was now turned to a lamb, and began to love the infant above all his sons and grandsons, and of that place, Matle (that is, Mat, good, le, place, and whence Matle, a good place), he made him heir and also of the whole island, which took its name from his mother Ebrdil, that is, Inis Ebrdil, which by others is called Mais mail lochou. And from that hour he increased in growth, and knowledge, being sent to a seminary of learning, he proceeded cheerfully, and with great devotion; and although a child in age, he was soon a man in maturity, with great prudence and eloquence in imparting knowledge.
And when he became a man in growth, age, and wisdom, and skilful in both the modern and ancient law, his fame extended throughout all Britain, so that from all parts, not only scholars who were uninstructed came, but also learned men and doctors flocked to him for the sake of study, particularly Teiliaus, Samson his disciple, Ubeluius, Merchguinus, Elguoredus, Gunuinus (St. Gunuiu), Congual, Arthbodu, Congur, Arguistil, lunabui, Conbran, Guoruan, Elheharn, ludnou, Guordocui, Guernabui, Louan, Aidan, Cinuarch. And with those he retained two thousand clergy for seven successive years at Hennlann on the banks of the Gui, in the literary study of divine and human wisdom, setting forth to them ill himself an example of religious life and perfect charity.
And during another space of time, he remained with his numerous disciples for many years, directing their studies, in his native district, namely, Inis Ebrdil, having found a place convenient for wood and fish, in a corner of that island, on the banks of the Gui, giving it the name of Mochros, that is "place of a hog". And rightly was it so called, for, during the preceding night, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, and said, " See that thou, on the morrow, go all round the place which thou hast proposed and chosen, and when thou wilt see a white sow lying with her pigs, there lay a foundation, and build in the name of the Holy Trinity a habitation, and an oratory."
The man of God having awakened from his sleep, and being mindful as usual of the angelic precept, immediately went round the place with his disciples, and as the voice of the angel had promised to him, a white sow, with her young pigs, got up before them, and there immediately founded and constructed an oratory and an habitation, where for many years he regularly lived, preachi,ng, and giving instruction to the clergy and people his doctrine striving throughout all Britain, as a candle or a candlestick, and the whole British nation preserved the true faith without any stain of false doctrine.
As the holy man shone in the doctrine granted to him, and also in noble parentage, and was eminent in eloquence, virtue increased in his country and a more abundant entrance of the people into paradise. As the labours of his body increased, the more he rejoiced on account of the greatness of the burden, excepting a recompense in a mansion of the heavenly country. The sick were healed, and cured of various disorders by the lying on of his hands, and that I might relate some out of many things, Dubricius of blessed memory visited the residence of St. Illtyd, in the season of Lent that he might correct what wanted amendment, and confirm what should be observed, for there resided at the place many very holy persons, and also many who were affected with envy.
Among those that lived there was brother Samson, the son of Amon, who obtained from the said father, that at the episcopal seat, on the day of his ordination, first, a deacon, secondly, a priest, and thirdly, a bishop, a white dove should descend on his head, which was seen by the holy Archbishop, and by the Abbot Illtyd, during the whole time of his ordination. The business of the house of St. Illtyd was divided between the brethren, the ecclesiastical affairs were performed by such persons as they best suited, and the offices were distributed among the brethren. The care of the cellar was, by his advocates, granted to St. Samson, who day and night, served the clergy to their satisfaction, and also pleased the common people. On a certain day, when he had filled the cups of the guests, and all the vessels of the cellar were become empty, on the occasion of such great joy as the visit of St. Dubricius and his family, it was mentioned by an envious person that the cellarer had altogether wasted the drink for having enjoyed the same ofifice, and being deprived of it, he envied the brother Samson, because of his bountiful hand.
Hearing the murmuring of the congregation against him, and being ashamed of so much complaints, he came to St. Dubricius and related to him all things in order, saying, " Holy father, flower of thy country, give me thy assistance." St. Dubricius, on hearing his request, prayed to God, that with respect to the distress which Samson suffered, he might liberate him, and being induced by fatherly affection, he went to the cellar, in company with Samson. And as it is said, "The Lord is wonderful among His saints," he raised his hand, and pronounced a blessing, which being uttered, marvellous relation: immediately the vessels overflowed afresh, as if they had been that hour filled with liquor as usual and the evil effort of envy being got rid of, they were renewed, and what was given away by bestowing bountifully was restored by prayers as a remuneration.
As the people were, according to custom, flying for succour to St. Dubricius, and recovering the health of their souls and bodies, there came a certain wealthy man, descended from royal ancestors, named Guidgentiuai, beseeching him on bended knees, that he would release his daughter Arganhell, who was possessed by a demon, and was so far afflicted, that when her hands were bound with cords, one could hardly hold her from being drowned in the river, or burnt in the fire, or from destroying everything about her with her teeth. O, how excellent a thing it is to serve God, who holds all things by his government, and subjects them to his will ! The pious father having heard his entreaty, prayed to the Lord, and falling to the ground with flowing tears, besought God that by the intercession of St. Peter the prince of the apostles, and of all the saints, he would succour the diseased. Forthwith, in the presence of her father and relatives, the cords were broken, the evil spirit completely left her, her health and entire reason were recovered, and she received her former state anew, and in every respect improved. She then forthwith acknowledged her own weakness, and being filled with the Holy Spirit, renounced the world; and having preserved the chastity of virginity and remaining under the protection of the holy man, she led an improved life until she died.
The holy man observing that his life was not sufficient for himself and the people, and being weary through infirmities and old age, resigned the laborious office of a Bishop, and for many years lived solitarily, leading the life of a hermit, with many holy men and his disciples, who lived by the labour of their hands, in the isle of Enli (Bardsey Island) and there he gloriously ended his life.
|LIFE OF ST. TEILO|
Saint Teilo had been a pupil of Dubricius at the same time as Samson, who was probably about the same age, or a little older, and the latter died in 564. His sister's husband is Budic. Having been consecrated shortly before the great Plague, say about 549, he went to Armorica there remained seven years and a half.
This holy man, was from his infancy, a worshipper of God, nor is it wonderful, for before his infancy, God had predestinated him to be his servant. The man of God carried on his warfare by being urgent in his prayers to God, and by giving to the poor all that he possessed. He was an eminent confessor, who on account of his virtues, had nothing to confess, for in infancy he was good, in youth he was better, in advanced age he was best of all. But that there may not be silence with respect to the race of so great a man, as if it were not known, we know that he was descended from noble parents, and the nobility of his mind, was likewise acceptable to God. After he grew up in age, virtue and wisdom, he was called by intelligent persons by the suitable name of Elios; and Elios, in Greek, is interpreted in Latin by Sol (the Sun), for his learning shone as the sun by illustrating the doctrine of the faithful. But illiterate men corruptly pronouncing the termination of the word, it came to pass, in course of time, that he was called not Elios, but Illtud.
We read that he was, in his childhood, instructed in the Holy Scriptures, by St. Dubricius, the Archbishop (whose successor he was), until at length he saw him a boy of such talent, that he not only believed himself to be inferior to him in knowledge, but that with the cooperation of the Holy Spirit, he succeeded better than any other in explaining to him the obscure passages of the Scriptures. This St. Dubricius observing, who hitherto had been his master, and understanding that he could not teach him, he uas desirous that he should succeed him in the mastership because he exceeded him in learning and talent.
But so much modesty accompanied him and such zeal for the study of sacred literature excited him, that he who was now able to become a master to others yet sought a master for himself, as well because he had rather be under the discipline of another than live without constraint, as because he wished to understand the mysterious and obscure passages of the Scriptures, not after the manner of foolish philosophers, that he might confound others, but that he might confute the errors of heretics, and therefore he confuted the heresies and corrected the errors of many.
He benefited the faithful by his simple and general mode of reasoning more than any philosopher ever did by his subtle arguments, for they seeking the way, always deviated from it, he never passed by the way of truth, but travelled along it, as if a candle preceded him, and no one hindering him, he went to Him who was the true light. For he travelled through Him who is the way, and was taught by Him who is wisdom. Then hearing the fame of a certain eminent man named Paulinus (who founded the monastary of Tygwyn ar Daf in county Carmarthen), he went and abode with him for some time, that by conversing together on the obscure parts of the Scriptures, which he did not comprehend, they might understand all as truly explained.
And he had there for a companion St. David, a man of most perfect life, to whom he was united by so much love, and the grace of the Holy Spirit, that in their transactions, they both had the same thought with respect to what was to be done and what to be left undone.
In the days of those holy men, a certain people, of Scithia, who, from their painted clothes, or the colour of their eyes, were called Picts, came in a very large fleet to Britain, and being seized with a desire of enjoying the land on account of the plenty of the good things, with which it then, above all islands, abounded, invaded the country of the Britons, more through means of treachery than force, and for some time exercised very great tyranny over them, nor is it wonderful that it was overcome by it, for the nation of the Picts were crafty, and trained in many engagements by sea and land, and the other, although endued with strength of body, was artless, and peaceable, and not having been by any one attacked, and ignorant of war, was the more easily subjugated. If any one should be desirous of having a more full account, he will find it in the History of Gildas, the Historian of the Britons.
And when a certain prince of that impious nation had arrived from the seaport, and murdering the unfortunate inhabitants, and burning the houses and churches of the saints, proceeded as far as (Minuensem Civitatem) the city of St. David's; he here stopped, and built himself a palace. And when he beheld the probity of the life of St. Teilo, and St. David, and of other servants of God, who lived with them, he not only envied them, as it is always the custom of the wicked to envy the good, but also because he saw them so attentive to the service of God, said many reproachful things of them that he might separate them from Christ, and as he could not effect what he wished by threats, and schemes, and thought that it could not be better effected than by the blandishments of women. He therefore ordered his housekeeper to send her female servants to the holy man, and offer themselves to their sight, that by their immodest deportment, and their meretricious blandishments, they might endeavour to withdraw the minds of the holy men from their holy purpose. And whilst they executed the orders of their mistress, and counterfeited madness, they became really mad. Which the aforesaid persecutor, and all his family observing, they by the favour of the servants of God, received the catholic faith, and were baptized by them in the name of Christ. He therefore was blessed, who persecuted the just knowingly to become just ignorantly, who tempted holy persons so as to become holy, who quarrelled with men to become reconciled to God, who despised the humble so as to take delight in humility.
After God had punished those immodest women with incurable disgrace, he adorned those holy persons by another marvellous work, and worthy of being mentioned. For when the blessed Teilo and Maidocus (Matauc) read in the courtyard of the monastery, not the fictions of the poets, or the histories of the ancients, but the Lamentations of the prophet Jeremiah, that they might be the more warmed with the love of the heavenly country, a certain servant came, and said to them that wood was wanting, wherewith the supper of the brethren was so prepared. And this they considered vexatious, not because they were slow to obey the brethren but because they could not return in time from the wood for preparing their supper. They therefore went to the wood in great haste, being very anxious to return soon, and bring as much as would be sufficient for the need of those who prepared the food for several days, that afterwards they might the longer remain in holy reading, and in prayer.
Two very tame stags yoked together met them and offering their necks to be harnessed by the direction of God, afforded them their service, as if they said, "God seeing your anxiety, has deprived us of our wildness, and made us tame animals, in order that we might perform the labour which you have undertaken." And when they had been harnessed, St. Teilo and Maidocus praised the Lord, saying, "Blessed be God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has mercifully regarded his servants labouring for the brethren, by making tame animals of the wild beasts of the woods, that they might sustain the burden of our labour."
And when the holy men had loaded their vehicle, and were returning home, they did not, as is the usual custom, goad on the loaded stags, that they might proceed the faster, but went a great way before them, and the stags, no one driving them, followed. And that their praying might not be any more interrupted by business of the kind, the same wild animals, for a long time after, by the direction of God, brought wood to them, and what things were necessary for the use of the holy men. Who therefore doubts that those persons were holy, to whom God caused the stags thus to minister?" Others may indeed kill the wild animals, but they cannot so tame them.
When they approached their residence, all the inhabitants of the place met them and said, "O divine brethren, how manifestly have ye been distinguished this day by divine grace for the irrational brutes have become your servants, we therefore are unhappy persons, who have not obeyed the saints until we are admonished by the brute animals to obey them."
In the meantime, St. David going out of his tent, found before the door thereof a book open, which had been ignorantly left by the brethren, and although it rained vehemently, it was altogether uninjured by the rain. Which he admiring, said, "God is wonderful among his saints, and holy in his works." And that a good thing might not be lost in oblivion, but widely spread abroad, he immediately called the elders of the people, that beholding the wonderful works of God, they might render prayers and vows to the Lord, and publish to men the sanctity of their brethren because God had preserved their book from the rain.
That those persons might be more distinguished by miracles through the faith of Christ, as God caused water to flow from the rock for the thirsty Israelites, so he ordered fresh fountains to arise for the thirsty saints, and as we have heard from old inhabitants of the place, they who drank of those fountains, asserted that they did not drink water, but wine, so pleasant was its taste. For those wonderful works, which the divine virtue performed for them, they were very soon celebrated everywhere as good and meritorious persons. God, therefore, seeing that they were adorned with so many virtues adjudged that they should be promoted to ecclesiastical dignities, and he sent his angel to the holy men to inform them that they were to go to the holy city of Jerusalem, and there receive the rewards of their warfare.
The holy men, namely, Teilo and David, being in all things obedient to their God durst not resist the divine appointment, but associating with them Paternus, (Paternus, or Padarn, son of Pedrwn, came to England from Armorica in A.D. 516, and founded a religious Society at Llanbadarn Fawr, in county Cardigan.) one dear to God, the three, in the name of the Holy Trinity, commenced the appointed journey, but not as many travellers do, with the preparation of much money, but without staff or scrip, trusting rather to Him who "giveth fodder to the cattle, and feedeth the young ravens that call upon him." Nor did they trust in vain, for God, through means of his faithful servants, gave seasonably all things that were necessary for them. They were adorned with the light of heavenly grace, so that their arrival was welcome to all, and their presence procured health to the sick, they therefore, through various provinces, left traces of their sanctity, by healing the disorders of all that came to meet them, who asked for a remedy for their infirmity in the name of Christ, and hoped by his power that they should recover their health. When robbers met them in the way, they not only peaceably gave up to them their property, but if they thoughtlessly left any portion of their plunder behind, they reached it forth to them with a cheerful countenance. And they seeing the good simplicity of the holy men, asked pardon for what they had done, and not only restored to them their own, but guarded them until they were . in a place of safety, thus by unknown persons they became known, and robbers became their greatest friends.
Having at length completed so long a journey, they did not request soft beds, on which they might take rest, but lying on the bare pavement of the church, they continued their prayers for they were altogether unmindful of what were earthly. In the mean time, all the clergy attentively watched which seats, when the prayer of the holy men was concluded, they should choose, for by the choice of the seats, they should know as they had been informed beforehand by an angel from heaven, which of them before the others, they should constitute a bishop.
For there were in the church from ancient times three seats appointed by the elders, two whereof were made of divers metals, and with skilful workmanship, the third was cedar, and had no outward ornament besides what nature gave to it. Which, being humble, the humble Illtud chose for his seat, giving up the more costly ones to his brethren; which being seen, all who were present fell on their faces before St. Illtud, saying, "Hail, Holy Teilo, and grant that thy prayers to the Lord may be beneficial to us; because today thou are exalted above thy fellow brethren, for thou hast sat in the seat of our Lord Jesus Christ, in which he preached the kingdom of God to our fathers." The holy man on hearing this, arose with great astonishment, and prostrating himself on the ground, said, " Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, and hath not sat in the seat of the scornful. And blessed be the Saviour, who chose that a seat for him should be made of wood, who, through means of wood should succour a perishing world." So being humble, he humbly adored the seat, yea Him, who had sat therein, because he being a creature, considered it to be the seat of the Creator.
Wherefore it happened that they requested that he would, for instructing them in virtue, speak to them a word concerning Christ, and as he had imitated Him in sitting in the chair, he would imitate Him in preaching. Observing them to be warmed with divine love, the Saint was perplexed in a surprising manner, not because he did not know what to teach, but he doubted with respect to what they requested, and what was suitable for them, since he was altogether ignorant of their language. Yet the holy man, that he might satisfy the supplicating people, began to explain the Scriptures, so that every one of them who stood around, heard him speak in their own language. And all who heard him preaching, were so pleased with the sweetness of his discourse, that the longer they heard, the more they were desirous of hearing him. At length after they were all refreshed by his salutary doctrine, lest it should seem that he was presumptuous in executing the ofiRce of preaching, if he alone preached, he said to the people, "Hear now the words of life from my brethren, who are of more perfect life than I am in conduct, and more advanced in learning." Therefore St. David and the very humble servant of God, Paternus, arose, and preached to the people, trusting in the Lord who said, "When ye come before kings and rulers, do not meditate beforehand, how and what ye shall speak, for it will be given to you in that hour what ye shall say." So the holy men, by the minds of the hearers, and if any of them wavered in the faith, they were induced, by the grace of the preaching of the holy men to hold very steadfastly the faith of the Holy Trinity.
After these things they were elected by all the people and raised to the episcopal dignity, as had been foretold by the angel, Teilo in the room of Peter, David in that of James. And in testimony of the grace they there received, the Lord bestowing it, three valuable presents were given according to each one's need, to Paternus a staff, and a choral cap, made of very valuable silk, because they observed he was an excellent singer. To David was given a wonderful altar, it not being known to any one of what material it was made, nor was it given to him without a reason for he celebrated more cheerfully than the others. Last of all the holy prelate Teilo had his gift, which, however, was not the least, a bell that was more famous than great, more valuable in reality than appearance, because it exceeded every organ in sweetness of sound, it condemned the perjured, it healed the sick, and what appeared most wonderful, it sounded every hour, without any one moving it, until being prevented by the sin of men, who rashly handling it with polluted hands, it ceased from such sweet performance. Nor was he presented with such a gift unsuitably, for like as a bell invites from the depth of sleep and slothfulness to the church, so the eminent prelate Teilo, being made a preacher to Christ, by incessant preaching, invited them to heaven. Being presented with these glorious gifts, and a blessing received of both sides, they returned with the greatest prosperity to their own country.
Teilo received the pastoral care of the church of Llandaff, to which he had been consecrated, with all the adjacent diocese, that had belonged to his predecessor Dubricius, in which however, he could not long remain, on account of the pestilence, which nearly destroyed the whole nation. It was called "The blue Pestilence," because it occasioned all persons who were seized by it, to be blue and without blood, and it appeared to men as a column of a watery cloud, having one end trailing along the ground, and the other above, proceeding in the air and passing through the whole country, like a shower going through the bottom of the valleys. Whatever living creatures it touched with its pestiferous blast, either immediately died, or sickened for death. If any one endeavoured to apply a remedy to the sick person, not only had the medicines no effect, but the dreadful disorder brought the physician, together with the sick person to death. For it seized Mailconus, King of Guenedotia, (Maelgwen Gwynedd) and destroyed his country, and so greatly did the aforesaid destruction rage throughout that nation, that it caused the country to be nearly deserted.
In the mean time, while this disorder raged not only against men, but also against beasts, and reptiles, Teilo cried to the Lord in fasting, and lamentation. The anger of the Lord, through means of his prayers, and those of other holy persons, being appeased for a time, he was admonished from heaven, and with those who were the residue of the nation departed into distant countries some of whom went into Ireland, but many, he leading them, removed into France, until God should intimate to them to return to their country. And an angel thus spoke, and ordered Teilo, saying, "Arise, and go beyond sea, and gather the remains of thy nation, that they may follow thee, until God, full of mercy, seeing the misery of thy nation and thee, a servant of God labouring for the nation in prayers and fasting, will grant on the removal of the persecution from them and you, that you should return from banishment, and be free from danger of this kind for ever." And again the angel said. "Go without hesitation, for an angel of the Lord will accompany thee, both in going and returning, and will again bring thee back with thy followers, to thy country with prosperity.
Therefore St. Teilo arose, and took with him some of his suffragan bishops, and men of other orders, with persons of both sexes, men and women, and came, first of all, to the country of Cornwall, where he was well received by Gerennius, King of the district, who treated him and his people with great honour. And in an interval of his hospitality, King Gerennius addressed the Bishop, familiarly, saying into him, " I request and desire that thou wilt receive my confession, and be my confessor in the Lord." And the Bishop consenting, received his confession and promised him, saying with confidence, that he should not see death before he received the body of the Lord, which he should consecrate. These things being done, the holy man with his companions went to the Armorican people, and was well received by them. Samson, Archbishop of the church of Dol, hearing of the arrival of his co-brother in the country, met him with joy, for they were born in the same district and had the same language, and were taught at the same time by St. Dubricius, the Archbishop, by the laying on of whose hands St. Samson was consecrated Bishop, as is related in his life. And he requested St. Teilo to live with him, and he assented, and resided with him a long time, and there left some beneficent proofs of his sanctity, that is, the salutiferous fountain called Cai, which he obtained from the Lord to flow. And besides the recoveries, which the sick obtained from it in the name of God, and Teilo, a remarkable miracle remains until this day. For the sailors of that people of Armorica, in order for their obtaining the accustomed wind for their ships, to enable them to sail direct in whatever course they intended, had a custom of cleansing that salutiferous fountain, and often, through the intercession of the holy Bishop, the Lord granted their request that is, the wind for the sails of their ship, whereby they sailed pleasantly on the smooth sea, where they would.
Also he left there another testimony of his patronage, for he and the aforesaid St. Samson planted a great grove of fruit bearing trees, to the extent of three miles, that is, from Dol as far as Cai, and these woods are honoured with their names until the present day, for they are called the groves of Teilo and Samson. And from that time forth, the Bishopric of Dol is honoured and celebrated by the testimony of all the Armorican Britons, on account of the conversation and reverence of St. Teilo.
In the meantime, whilst these things were taking place it happened that Christ, through his mercy, ordered that the aforesaid blue pestilence should depart and vanish from the whole island of Britain. Which the faithful leader, Teilo, having heard, greatly rejoiced, and being summoned by the Holy Spirit, he sent messengers both into France, and beyond the Alps into Italy wherever it was known to him that his countrymen had fled, and he collected them together, that as the pestilence was extinguished, and peace effected in every respect, all might return to their own country. Therefore he prepared three very great ships for the numerous people to pass over. The holy man came to the seaport, as they were weeping and mourning on account of the departure of so great a father, and while they waited for a prosperous wind for their voyage, lo, Budic, the King of the district came to meet him with a large army of Armoricans. And immediately the King and his whole army, knelt down before him, and on his asking what this meant, the King answered him, " We bend our knees for this purpose, that thou mayest beseech God, for me and my country, on account of the calamity which we at present sustain, for a huge viper has lately appeared, which has nearly destroyed the third part of my kingdom.
The holy Bishop for some time hesitated, and dreaded to go with him, for terrible things were related of the viper, and suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared to him, and comforting him, said, "Fear not to go with them, for the power of Christ will be present with thee, which will destroy the viper under thy hands, and on thy account the Redeemer and Saviour will save and deliver all the country." The holy Prelate, following the advice of the angel dared to approach the flying and winged dragon, and being inspired from heaven, he immediately took off one of his vestments and tied it round its neck, and ordered him, by the Lord's commandment, to follow him as far as the sea, and cease to emit his poison and pernicious blasts of breath. And lastly, the pestiferous beast, according to the commandment of the Bishop, having become mild and gentle, did not lift up his wings to terrify, nor shew his teeth to gnash with them, nor put out his tongue to emit his fiery breath. And immediatelythe pious Prelate went towards the sea, leading after him the enormous monster by the portion of his vestments, wherewith he had tied him, and immediately, in the name of the Lord, fixed him to a great rock in the midst of the sea. And the Armoricans seeing this, entered into counsel with St. Samson, and said to him. "Holy father, take care of us, for if that man of God leaves us, the serpent will come again and destroy us and our country, be pleased therefore to keep him with us, and earnestly intreat him to consent to remain, so that we may not die from that calamity."
And the pious father hearing that St. Samson and King Budic, with the people, had consulted that they might retain him by their intreaty for some time, was displeased and resolved in himself not to do what they agreed on and proposed. And, lo, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in that night, and said, "Do not hesitate to remain with them, for through means of thee, the country shall receive protection and assistance and this will be a proof to thee that I am sent from the Lord; tomorrow the King and the aforesaid Prelate with a numerous attendance of people will come to thee, and suppliantly intreating, will strongly offer to thee the episcopal care and privilege of all Armorica, and consenting to them according to my advice, accept what they offer to thee for sometime. In the meanwhile shall be collected thy countrymen, who are still dispersed on all sides, and say unto them, I will remain with you as long as may please God whilst waiting for the assembling of all my exiled countrymen."
And again the angel said, "Lo, another proof will be shewn to thee from God through me. tomorrow the Prelate and King with a large company of people will meet thee, that they may lead thee honourably, and gloriously, to the episcopal seat, and then they will zealously offer to thee the best of their horses for thee to ride thereon, do not thou consent to receive it at all from them, for thou shalt immediately have, as a testimony of the divine permission, a most excellent steed sent to thee from God through me, and mounting him cheerfully and triumphantly, thou shalt go with them to the bishopric of Dol, which has been prepared and predestinated by God for thee."
All these things, therefore, took place the following day, as the angel had promised for the King, and Prelate, with a multitude of people met him, that they might conduct him with due honour to the episcopacy of Dol, and exalt him unto the episcopal seat, and lo ! suddenly, as the heavenly messenger had predicted, when they offered to him one of their best horses, and he refusing to receive it from them, there appeared near him a most beautiful steed, sent by God to him. And mounting him, he went with them to Dol; and there, as he had been commanded by God, he consented to remain, until the time afore-appointed of God the Father. And at that instant of time, he called to King Budic and with the bestowing of much blessing on him, gave him the aforesaid horse. Before all the people, the Bishop St. Teilo, requested of God, and suppliantly, prayed, that the soldiers of Armorica might excel in horsemanship, all other nations, and thereby defend their country, and avenge themselves victoriously on their enemies. And that privilege which St. Teilo obtained from the Lord to be conferred by him, remains until this day, according to the testimonies and historical accounts of all the old men of that country. For the Armoricans are seven times more valiant as horsemen than as foot soldiers.
In the mean time, whilst these things were performed, the Bishop St. Teilo, called to him his family, that is, the common people of his country, and conversing with them familiarly, at last said to them, "Know ye, my little children, that our King Gerennius is afflicted with a serious disorder, and I believe, as an angel has informed me, that he will die of this illness; when I came to that country passing through his territories, I visited him, and he honourably received me and my companions, treating us hospitably for some days. And I engaged to him, promising in the Lord, that he should not see death, nor his last day, until he received from me the body of the Lord, and that then he should depart from the world. Prepare therefore for us our ship, that through means of knowledge divinely communicated, we may return to our native country, which has been a long time desired, and divinely promised to us." A large ship being therefore prepared, and seven years and seven months expired, during which St. Teilo had resided in the country of the Armoricans he entered into it with many doctors; and some other bishops, by whose sanctity the British nation should be refreshed after the pestilence.
And then he enjoined his companions, saying, "Take with you this sarcophagus, that the body of Gerennius may be buried therein." And they wondering, declared that they could not obey the command, on account of its great size. "For," said they, "ten yoke of oxen can scarcely move it from its place.'' But he, trusting in the Lord, and the prayers of his bishops and people, directed that it should be cast into the sea before the prow of the ship and that through the power of God it would be brought to the bank without using an oar, which was accordingly done. And as they sailed in the middle of the sea, another ship met them, and the sailors coming together conversed with each other, and a bishop sent by King Gerennius mentioned that the King was dying, but expected the arrival and coming to him of Teilo. Sailing together from thence, they go to a harbour called Din Gerein, and, lo, immediately the aforesaid stone sarcophagus, that had been thrown into the sea, having arrived appeared between the two ships, and according to the faith of the holy pastor of Christ, manifested the glory of his majesty. St. Teilo coming to the King found him, still living, and having received the body of the Lord from his hand, joyfully migrated to the Lord and his body was carefully buried in the aforesaid sarcophagus, and by his holy confessor committed to God.
After these things, the holy man went to his own episcopal see, with a great number of the clergy and people who accompanied him, and there he remained to the end of his life, holding supremacy over all the churches of the whole of southern Britain, according to the appointment of the fathers who consecrated him at Jerusalem, as before mentioned. And the nation, although consisting of a few persons, very soon increased into a large multitude, and this, indeed, because they were obedient to every order of the holy man. So the holy church, which had been dispersed for a long time, was exalted by the coming of Teilo, the most holy of holy persons;to whom came those who had been disciples of St. Dubricius; viz. Junapeius, Gwrmaet, Cynmur, Toulidauc, luhil, Fidelis, Hismael, Tyfhei, Oudoceus, and many others, that they might imitate him in conduct and doctrine. Of whom he consecrated Hismael to be a bishop, and sent him to take charge of (Ecclesia Minuensis) the church of Menevia, now deprived of its pastor, for St. David had migrated to the Lord, and many other persons of the same rank he likewise raised to the episcopacy, sending them through the country, and giving dioceses to them to suit the convenience of the clergy and the people.
Now the miracles we know to have been performed by him, we commit to writing and memory, for by being silent with respect to the miraculous power of God, and the saints, we are grievously deficient in duty; but by publishing it, we obey. He had three pack horses, who without any one attending them, went to the wood, and when loaded by the woodmen, returned in a similar manner without a driver, and thus served the brethren daily. It is said that he raised one from the dead on the river Couin, who was named Distinnic; that one sick of the palsy was by him healed in the church of Radh (Roath, adjacent to Cardiff), before all the people, on the Sabbath day, and with what ever disorder the sick were afflicted, they were healed of it by the laying on of his hands. But they, who in any way injured him, either were long tormented, or immediately died, as an audacious woman, who offended him, expired before all the people. Also a certain regulus named Guaidan, violated his refuge in one of his churches commonly called Lanteliau bechan, and as he was raging there and committing this act of violence, he immediately in the same cemetery, vilely lost his life, but those who acknowledged their crimes, immediately recovered their health, and were pardoned through means of his prayers.
On the night of his decease, there arose a great dispute between the clergy of three of his churches each asserting its authorities and privileges for obtaining his body, one of which was Pennalun,^ and which claimed because it was there his ancestors had been buried, and therefore, the proper place by hereditary right; the second church, situated on the banks of the river Tyui (Towy) claimed it because it was the place of his residence, where he lived retired and because he there gloriously ended his life; the third was Llandaff and urged its claim on account of its having been his episcopal see, of its privileges and dignities, its consecrations and obedience, and of the unanimous voice of all the diocese, and especially because of its former state, and the appointment of St. Dubricius and other fathers. But at length, attending to the advice of discreet men, they had recourse to fasting and prayer, that Christ, the great judge, who is the true authority and privilege of holy persons, should declare by some manifest sign, to which of them He would be pleased to commit the holy body of the Saint. And in the morning, a certain elder, looking towards the place where the body was, spoke with a loud voice, saying. "Our prayer, brethren, has been heard by the Lord, who deprives no one of his reward. Arise, and behold what things have been done by Christ the Mediator between God and man, that our dispute might be settled, and as in the life so in the death of the holy confessor Teilo, miracles should be performed." For, lo ! they saw there three bodies, to which there was the same dimensions of body, the same beauty of countenance, (what more ?) they had the lineaments of the whole frame without any difference.
So peace being restored, each with their own burden returned homewards, and they buried the different bodies in those several places with the greatest reverence.
It was, however, known to all the people, by the great number of miracles, and the accounts of ancient writers, that he was certainly taken to Llandaff, for at the tomb of this eminent prelate, the sick were most frequently healed of their diseases, sight given to the blind, and hearing to the deaf
These, and more than these, the divine miraculous power performed for the most holy confessor Teilo, wherefore celebrate the festivity of so great a man with all the affection of your mind, frequent his church, and according to the ability of each of you, bestow of your substance on the poor in his name, who accepts great things for small, and small things for great, as he received a cup of cold water from the woman of Samaria, as if she had given a thousand talents of gold; that by imitating him in good works, ye may deserve to be glorified with him in seats above, by the aid of our Lord Jesus Christ, who always lives, and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
|LIFE OF ST. OUDOCEUS THE ARCHBISHOP|
Budic the father of Oudoceus, was a first cousin of Jonas or Jena, mentioned in the Life of St. Samson. His father was one of the brothers of Rhuval, or Howel the second, who was murdered by Canao in 546; upon which, or soon after, Budic returned to his own country, carrying with him his son, then a child. This agrees with the relation that the Plague or Yellow Death, broke out a long time after. That Budic outlived the pestilence is evident from what is related in the Life of Teilo, and that he was dead before 577, we know from Gregory of Tours, his contemporary, for in that year, his eldest son Theodoric, or Thierry, who had been expelled from his dominions by his surviving uncle Maclean, had regained the possession, and was reinstated in his government.
Oudoceus was the father of Thierry above mentioned, St. Ismael, and St. Tyfei, and also of Yrb, who succeeded his brother Thierry, and of Dinot the father of St. Kinedda. That he was a Bishop before the death of Teilo is evident from his receiving grants of land from Prince Meurig, his son Athruis, and from Morgan his grandson.
There was a certain man named Budic, the son of Cybrdan, a native of Cornugallia, who, being expelled from his country, came with his fleet to the Demetic region, in the time of Aircollauhir, King thereof, who, while he remained in that country, married Anauued, the daughter of Ensic, whose mother was Guenhaf, daughter of Liuonui, from which Anauued there were born to him Ismael, and the martyr Tyfei, who lies buried at Pennalun. While he remained in the country, messengers were sent to him from his native region, Cornugallia, requesting that he would come, with all his family, without delay, and by the aid of the Britons, obtain the kingdom of the Armorican nation, whose King being dead, they in a council called by them, had unanimously expressed their wishes for him to succeed, as he was born of royal progeny. The message having been heard, and affectionately received, he took his wife, and all his family, and with a fleet he went to his country and reigned throughout the Armorican region, which in his time extended as far as the Alps.
His wife bore him a son, who was named Oudoceus, whom afterwards, when he arrived at a proper age, he sent to study literature, for he had before promised St. Teilo in Britain, that if he should have a son, he would commend him to God, as he had before commended his two brothers, of whom we have spoken. And St. Oudoceus from his infancy began to excel in learning and eloquence so far as to surpass his contemporaries and companions in morals and sanctily.
After a very long time the "blue Pestilence" came to Greater Britain. It was called "blue" because it occasioned all persons who were seized by it to become of a blue hue and very pallid. It appeared to men as the column of a watery cloud, having an end trailing on the ground, and the other above proceeding in the air, and passing through the whole country like a shower going along the bottom of the valleys. All living creatures touched with its pestiferous blast, either immediately died, or sickened for death. If anyone endeavoured to apply a remedy to the sick persons, not only had the medicine no effect, but the dreadful disorder brought the physician, together with the sick person, to death. And after a long space of time it ceased by the prayer of St.Teilo, and the holy men of Britain. And that the ancient nation should not all be destroyed, a divine voice came to St. Teilo directing him to go, together with his clergy and people, to Cornugallia, which afterwards was called Cerniu budic, and there he found his nephew Oudoceus, who was eminent, gentle, and learned in both kinds of law, shining as a candle on a candlestick.
After receiving these directions, St. Teilo, Archbishop of Llandaff, the Church of St. Peter the Apostle, returned to his native country, accompanied by his nephew, who so far increased in goodness and knowledge, that by the election of the clergy and people, he succeeded to the Bishopric of the Church of Llandaff, being chosen by the clergy, Merchguinus, and Elgoretus, and Gunnuinus, and three Abbots, Catgen, Abbot of Illtyd, Concenn, Abbot of Catmailus, Cetnig, Abbot of Docgunni, and by the laity. King Mouricus, and his sons Athruis and Idnerth, Guidgen and Cetiau (St. Ceidio, son of Ynyr - See Lives of the British Saints: Ceidio), Brocmail, Gendoc, Louhonerd, Catgualatyr, and all the Princes of the whole diocese. St. Oudoceus was sent with his aforesaid clergy, Merchui, Elguoret, and Gunnbiu and the messengers of the three Abbots, and of the King and Princes, to the blessed Archbishop, at the city of Canterbury, where he was consecrated Bishop of the Church of Llandaff, founded in honour of St. Peter.
King Mouricus (Meurig) with his two sons, and his wife Onbraust, daughter of Gurcant the Great, and the Abbots of the three monasteries, with all the Princes of his kingdom, and all the family of St. Dubricius, and St. Teilo, of the Church of Llandaff, received him with joy, giving and confirming the same privilege as had before been given to St. Dubricius, St. Teilo, and to their successors, with all its dignity and liberty, and they went round the whole, with the King holding the four Gospels in his hand, and confirming the endowment of the holy Church, the holy Cross preceding, and holy Choir following, with the chief Pastor, singing, " May peace be within thy walls, and plenteousness within thy palaces. Glory and riches shall be in his house, and the righteousness endureth for ever."
St. Oudoceus, after the time of his maturity, having visited the thresholds of St. Peter, and received the privilege of St. Dubricius and St. Teilo, with the apostolic dignity which was confirmed to his posterity for ever, was desirous to visit the places where holy persons resided, and with great devotion sought the residence of St David, on account of his veneration for him, and the daily mention of him in his prayers, and as he wished to take with him holy relics, he took them) and carried them with him with great veneration; and he also took with him from his place of residence at Lan Teliaumaur some of the relics of the disciples of his maternal uncle, St. Teilo, and placed them together in a chest convenient for the purpose.
And as he travelled through his diocese, towards his Church of Llandaff, his attendants reverently carrying the relics, and singing psalms with praises, and the holy cross going before, when they came to the road of Pennalt in Cetgueli (or Kidwelly), there came some persons from the rock of Pennalt who had ill will against the holy man, and said, "Shall those clergy, who are loaded with gold and silver, and as we may say, with the treasures of St. David, and St. Teilo, escape from our hands? No, let them be taken; and having got all their wealth from them, we shall be enriched with great weight of metal in gold and silver." And being full of envy and covetousness, they attacked, with great fury, those who carried the chest, but when they reached forth their hands, and held their lances against the holy man and his attendants, their eyes, which sinned against them, lost their sight, and their arms, which were ready to shed the blood of the just person, became stiff so that they could not bend them towards themselves, nor by any means extend them.
St. Oudoceus beholding the privation and death of the offenders, began to pray to God with bended knees in their behalf, performing the divine command and saying, " I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that he turn from his way and live," And on the other part, the afflicted persons acknowledging their crime and asking pardon, and the prayer of the holy man, being also heard, they recovered their sight, and resumed their restored senses, and having performed the penance enjoined on them suitable to their crime, promised in fasting prayer and almsgiving, perpetual obedience to the holy man, and his successors, and to the Church of Llandaff, and an amendment of life.
St. Oudoceus being thirsty after undergoing labour, and more accustomed to drink water than any other liquor, came to a fountain in the vale of Llandaff not far from the Church, that he might drink, where he found women washing butter after the manner of the country, and sending to them his messengers and disciples, they requested that they would accommodate them with a vessel, that their pastor might drink therefrom. But they, ironically, as daughters of iniquity, said, "We have no other cup besides that which we hold in our hands, naniely, the butter ! "And the man of blessed memory, taking it, formed one in the shape of a small bell, and he raised his hand so that he might drink therefrom, and he drank, and it remained in that form, that is, a golden one, so that it appeared to those who beheld it to consist altogether of the purest gold, which by divine power is from that day reverently preserved in the Church of Llandaff, in memory of the holy man, and it is said that by touching it health is given to the diseased.
When Enniaun, King of Gleuissic, hunted among the rocks and woods of the river Guy, as he was accustomed to do, he wondered how and what course the stag was taking, as it was pursued by the dogs with the noise of horns and huntsmen through the valleys; but the divine protection preserved it throughout, until it reached the pallium of St. Oudoceus, when lying, it rested and recovered its breath, and was safe, as one who had succeeded to joy after sorrow. The huntsmen remained afar off with the dogs, mute and stupefied, and being astonished, they now with knees bent to the Lord regarded as a neighbour and friend him whom they had before pursued as an enemy.
St. Oudoceus, a man fiall of age and discreet maturity, who served God on the brook Caletan, near the river Guy, without his cloak, on which the stag lay, and which procured him safety and protection, had regard to the gentle beast, which the power of God had tamed; and King Enniaun and the hunters, with great astonishment, and with bended knees, and hand lifted up towards heaven, asked pardon of the Lord and St. Oudoceus, with great devotion, as if they had committed some crime. First of all the King gave him quiet possession of the stag, afterwards he gave all the territory which he had gone round the whole day, following the track of the stag, to God, and to St. Dubricius, St. Teilo, and St. Oudoceus, the Bishop, and to all the Bishops of Llandaff for ever, the aforesaid track over mountains, brooks, and rocks, marking out for ever the territories of the Church.
The holy man, after the land, with its boundaries was granted to him, and which had the name of Lann Enniaun, increased in virtue, and the situation being retired, and abounding in fish and honey, he there built a place of residence and a convenient oratory, and there resided with his family, having resigned the honour of the pastoral care of Llandaff, not because he did not satisfy the people, but because he did not satisfy himself in his charge. Having therefore given up the pastoral care, he wished to lead a religious life in retirement; and calling to him some brethren, he lived in communion with them during many years,leading a holy and eminent life, which from day to day advanced in improvement and as many as came to him for advice were refreshed by his paternal assistance. Nor was he at any time sparing of labour, indeed the common people came to him from every direction, that by means of his opinion, with respect to bearing affliction patiently, which they usually received, they might obtain safe protection from him, which was desirable to widows and orphans of every description. He who was illustrious in outward appearance, was also illustrious in virtue, he shone in doctrine, and was eminent in reputation.
When he was engaged in prayer, intermixed with tears and sighing, one of the brethren came to him, and said, "O, good father come out that thou mayest see the timber which is prepared for thy buildings!" Which as he saw, lo, the good and just man, and the Historian of all Britain, Gildas the Wise, as he is named in histories, who resided at that time in the island of Echni, leading the life of a hermit, passed over the middle of the river in a boat, bringing with him the said timber as his own, having found it in the middle of the wood, without any owner, and far from the habitation of men. When St. Oudoceus saw him, he called to the brother to throw his building timber for him on the ground, or in a brotherly manner suppliantly obtain pardon from God and man for his unlawful conduct. Being unmindful of his admonition and having uttered a prayer, he passed over in the boat; and as if with some indignation, brother Oudoceus took an axe, not that he should strike him, but that the power of God through him might appear in a creature of God for ever. The axe descended on a stone which was whole, and completely divided it, as if it had been done artificially by hand, nor are those stones to be avoided by any one who passes that way, for being near the bank of the river Wye, they are always in sight, appearing as cut by the wonderful blow, and immovable.
Only a few out of the many miracles of this holy man, for blessed memory, are committed to writing, because the accounts have been either burnt, or were carried far off in the fleet of exiled citizens. What therefore have been since discovered and obtained from early monuments of old men, or the most ancient writings are committed to memory and to writing. And his holy and glorious life being completed, with acquiring many lands to himself, and to his Church of Llandaff, he rested in the Lord on the Sixth day of the Nones of July.