Gwenffrewi

Today we’ll be talking about Gwenffrewi, an early Welsh saint, who endowed an abbey and a sacred well. She is the only woman so credited, which seems a woeful gap in the record. Still, the legend of Gwenffrewi, or Winifred in English, follows a similar pattern to that of her male counterparts in that she was born noble. After that, her story takes quite a dark turn. As was written down in the 12th century, she had a suitor who was enraged at her rejection of him to the point that he decapitated her. A healing spring flowed from the spot upon which her head fell, and then St. Bueno, her uncle, restored her head to her body. After this miracle Beuno turned to her suitor, Caradog, who is described as leaning on his sword and unrepentant, called up to Read more…

St. Seiriol’s Well

Seiriol lived in the 6th century, and, according to legend, regularly used to meet St. Cybi at a central rendezvous on Anglesey. As the story goes, Seiriol traveled with his back to the sun in the morning and returned with his face to the east in the afternoon, and thus became known as Seiriol the Pale, while Cybi became known as Cybi the Tanned. Seiriol himself was a younger brother of King Cynlas of Rhos and King Einion of Ll?n. His cell adjacent to the well is said to have been rebuilt by his brothers, as they didn’t think his humble residence was good enough. The well lies in a small chamber and the building adjacent to its remains might have once been part of the lower stone walls St. Seiriol’s church in the 6th Century. If so, this would make it the oldest remaining Christian building Read more…

St. David’s Day

St. David is the patron saint of Wales and his feast day (and possibly the date of his death) is March 1.  The Welsh spelling of his name is ‘Dafydd’ (Dah-vith). St. David “died in the year 589. His father was the son of Ceredig, King of Ceredigion. After being educated in Cardiganshire, he went on pilgrimage through south Wales and the west of England, where it is said that he founded religious centres such as Glastonbury and Croyland. He even went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he was made archbishop. He eventually settled at Glyn Rhosyn (St David’s), in south-west Wales, where he established a very strict ascetic religious community. Many miracles have been attributed to him, the most incredible of which was performed when he was preaching at the Synod of Llanddewibrefi – he caused the ground Read more…