Saint Apollonia VM
Blessed Alvarez of Cordova, OP (AC)
(also known as Albaro)
Died c. 1430; cultus confirmed in 1741. Blessed Alvarez is claimed by both Spain and Portugal. He received the habit in the convent of Saint Paul in Cordova in 1368, and had been preaching there for some time in Castile and Andalusia when Saint Vincent Ferrer began preaching in Catalonia.
Having gone to Italy and the Holy Land on a pilgrimage, Alvarez returned to Castile and preached the crusade against the infidels. He was spiritual advisor to the queen-mother of Spain, Catherine daughter of John of Gaunt, and tutor to her son John II. Alvarez had the work of preparing the people spiritually for the desperate effort to banish the Moors from Spain. He also opposed the Avignon pope Peter de Luna.
Blessed Alvarez is probably best remembered as a builder of churches and convents, an activity which was symbolic of the work he did in the souls of those among whom he preached. He founded, in one place, a convent to shelter a famous image of Our Lady, which had been discovered in a miraculous manner. Near Cordova he built the famous convent of Scala Coeli, a haven of regular observance. It had great influence for many years. His building enterprises were often aided by the angels, who, during the night, carried wood and stones to spots convenient for the workmen.
The austerities of Alvarez were all the more remarkable in that they were not performed by a hermit, but by a man of action. He spent the night in prayer, as Saint Dominic had done; he wore a hairshirt and a penitential chain; and he begged alms in the streets of Cordova for the building of his churches, despite the fact that he had great favor at court and could have obtained all the money he needed from the queen. He had a deep devotion to the Passion, and had scenes of the Lord's sufferings made into small oratories in the garden of Scala Coeli.
On one occasion, when there was no food for the community but one head of lettuce left from the night before, Blessed Alvarez called the community together in the refectory, said the customary prayers, and sent the porter to the gate. There the astonished brother found a stranger, leading a mule; the mule was loaded with bread, fish, wine, and all things needed for a good meal. The porter turned to thank the benefactor and found that he had disappeared.
At another time, Blessed Alvarez was overcome with pity at a dying man who lay untended in the street. Wrapping the man in his mantle, he started home with the sufferer, and one of the brothers asked what he was carrying. "A poor sick man," replied Alvarez. But when they opened the mantle, there was only a large crucifix in his arms. This crucifix is still preserved at Scala Coeli.
Blessed Alvarez died and was buried at Scala Coeli. An attempt wads made later to remove the relics to Cordova, but it could not be done, because violent storms began each time the journey was resumed, and stopped when the body was returned to its original resting place.
A bell in the chapel of Blessed Alvarez, in the convent of Cordova, rings of itself when anyone in the convent, or of special not in the order, is about to die (Benedictines, Dorcy).
Alexander and Companions MM (RM)
Date unknown. Saint Alexander and 38 others were martyred at Rome on this day. There is another Alexander martyred in Cyprus with Saint Ammonius (Benedictines).
Alto of Altomünster, OSB, Abbot (AC)
Died c. 760. Alto was an Irish monk, who crossed over into Germany about 743 and settled as a hermit in a forest near Augsburg. King Pepin, hearing of Alto's holiness, gave him the land there on which Alto founded the monastery of Altomünster in Upper Bavaria. Saint Boniface dedicated its church in 750. In 1000 AD, according to tradition, Alto appeared in a vision to the king of Bavaria and asked him to restore the abbey, which the king did. Altomünster, which has been a Brigittine abbey for five centuries, still survives (Benedictines, Montague).
Saint Alto is represented as a bishop with the Christ-child and a chalice. At times he is shown with Saint Virgilius of Salzburg or Saint Bridget (Roeder).
Ammon, Emilian, Lassa & Comp. MM (AC)
Date unknown. This was a group of 44 Christians martyred at Membressa in Africa (Benedictines).
Ammonius and Alexander MM (RM)
Date unknown. Saints Ammonius and Alexander were martyred at Soli, Cyprus (Benedictines).
Ansbert of Fontenelle, OSB B (RM)
(also known as Aubert)
Died c. 695-700. Saint Ansbert was the chancellor of the court of Clotaire III. Apparently, he was both a married man (widowed?) and a statesman, yet he was called by God to another life. He left the court for the Fontenelle Abbey where he placed himself under its founder, Saint Wandrille. When Wandrille's successor, Saint Lambert, was raised to the see of Lyons in 678, Ansbert was chosen to be its third abbot. He governed Fontenelle and was the confessor to King Theodoric III, until he was consecrated bishop of Rouen upon the death of Saint Ouen in 684. Although piety flourished in his see with his care, wisdom, and learning, Pepin of Heristal, mayor of the palace, banished him upon a false accusation to the monastery of Hautmont at Hainault on the Sambre, where he died (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).
In art, Saint Ansbert is a bishop with a chalice and the abbey of Fontenelle is behind him. He might have a scourge in his hands (Roeder).
Apollonia (Apolline) of Alexandria VM (RM)
with Metras, Quinta, and Serapion MM
Died in Alexandria in 249; feast day formerly February 7. Saint Apollonia was the miraculously conceived daughter of rich, barren parents. After nearly giving up hope of being blessed by a child despite constant prayers to her gods, Apollonia's mother begged the Blessed Virgin to intercede. When in her youth the saint learned of the circumstances of her conception, she became a Christian. Directed by an angel, she went to Saint Leonine, a disciple of Saint Antony, for baptism. An angel then appeared with her baptismal robe and told her to go and preach in Alexandria, which she did. What I have written so fare is part of one version of a legend regarding Saint Apollonia, which ends with with her father giving her up to the authorities for martyrdom. Better sources are available.
During the persecution of Christians under Philip, Saint Apollonia was caught up in the midst of a bloodthirsty mob out to kill as many Christians as possible. Christians were dragged from their homes, while their property was looted. It started with a poet of Alexandria, who pretended to foretell disaster because of the presence of the impious Christians. He stirred up this great city.
The first victim of their rage was a venerable old man, named Metranus (Metras). When he refused to utter impious words against the worship of the true God, they beat him with staffs, thrust splinters of reeds into his eyes, and stoned him to death. The next person the mob seized was a Christian woman, called Cointha (Quinta), whom they carried to one of their temples to pay divine worship to the idol. She reproached the execrable divinity, which so exasperated the people that they tied her to the tail of a horse and dragged her over the pavement of sharp pebbles, cruelly scourged her, and put her to death. Another victim of this same cruelty was holy man called Serapion, who was tortured in his own house. After bruising his limbs, disjointing and breaking his bones, they threw him headlong from the top of the house onto the pavement, and so completed his martyrdom.
Apollonia was an old woman, a deaconess, but she was brave as the other Christians. Her bishop, Saint Dionysius, who witnessed her death, described it in a letter to Fabius and preserved by Eusebius, bishop of Antioch:
"They seized that marvelous aged virgin Apollonia, broke out all her teeth with blows on her jaws, and piling up a bonfire before the city, threatened to burn her alive if she refused to recite with them their blasphemous sayings. But she asked for a brief delay. . . ."
The mob believed that she was trying to decide whether or not to apostatize, but she was stalling so that they would know what she did was of her own volition. She clearly decided that none of them would have the pleasure of throwing her aged body into the fire. Expectantly, the mob let go of her and drew back. At this moment Apollonia "of her own accord leaped into the pyre, being kindled within by the greater fire of the Holy Spirit" (Roman Martyrology)- -to be honored ever since as a fearless Christian martyr. Saint Augustine conjectured that she acted according to a particular prompting of the Holy Spirit; otherwise, it would have been unlawful according to Church canon to take her own life.
It can never be lawful for a person by any action willfully to concur to, or hasten his own death, though many martyrs, out of a desire to lay down their lives for God, anticipated the executioners in completing their sacrifice. Rather it was a monstrous belief among the ancient Greeks and Romans that it was honorable, even heroic, to commit suicide in distress, as a remedy against temporal miseries. As Christians we believe that our lives are not our own, they belong to God. "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." Our lives are the greatest gift God has bestowed upon us. Whatever befalls us in this life, it takes more courage and greatness of spirit to endure sufferings patiently than to take our own lives. We see the example of Job in the Old Testament, and trust in God.
After the deaths of these four martyrs in ancient Alexandria, the rioters were in the height of their fury. Alexandria seemed like a city taken by storm. The Christians made no opposition, but betook themselves to flight, and beheld the loss of their goods with joy; for their hearts had no ties on earth. Their constancy was equal to their disinterestedness; for of all who fell into their hands, Saint Dionysius knew of none that renounced Christ. A civil war put an end to the fury of the populace, but the edict of Decius renewed it in 250. In this true story, we see the damage that can be caused by rumor.
Although altars and churches were soon dedicated to her in the West, Apollonia appears to have had no cultus in the East. Perhaps this was because she was soon confused with another Saint Apollonia who was martyred by Julian the Apostate. Of course, later artists and writers turned her into a beautiful young girl, daughter of a king, sometimes tortured by her own father by having her teeth extracted by pincers. Sometimes the story ends with the repentance of her father who vows to help those who suffer from toothache.
A quarterly publication for dentists out of Boston, Massachusetts, is called, appropriately, The Apollonian. Her feast is now celebrated only by those parishes of which she is the patroness (Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth, Tabor, White).
With good reason, Saint Apollonia is pictured holding a tooth (sometimes gold) with a pair of pincers. She may be shown after her teeth were pulled out or simply with a book and pincers. She is invoked against toothache (Roeder). If she does not have the pincers, she usually wears a necklace made of her own teeth (Bentley). She is the patron of dentists (White). There is a frescoe of her by Luini at Saronno (Tabor).
Died 576. "Hunter who got caught in the trap of a hermit" (Encyclopedia).
Cronan the Wise B (AC)
8th century (?). The Irish Bishop Saint Cronan is called "the wise" because he systematized Irish canon law. He was a lover of liturgy and modesty. Cronan may be the same person as Bishop Saint Ronan of Lismore (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Cuaran the Wise B (AC)
(also known as Curvinus, Cronan)
Died after 700. Saint Cuaran was another Irish bishop known for his wisdom. He concealed his episcopal status in order to become a simple monk at Iona, where, however, he was recognized by Saint Columba (Benedictines).
Eingan of Llanengan, Hermit (AC)
(also known as Einganor Eneon, Einion, Eneon, Anianus)
6th century (died c. 590); feast day sometimes shown as April 21. The British (or Scotus) prince Saint Eingan or Eneon Bhrenin, left Cumberland for Wales, where he ended his days as a hermit at Llanengan near Bangor. He is said to have been a son of the chieftain Cunedda, whose family claims no less than 50 saints (Benedictines).
Blessed Erizzo, OSB Vall. Abbot (AC)
Born in Florence, Italy; died 1094; cultus confirmed in 1600. Erizzo was Saint John Gualbert's first disciple. He later became the fourth general of the Vallumbrosans (Benedictines).
Blessed Marianus Scotus, OSB Abbot (AC)
(also known as Muirdach MacRobartaigh or Muiredach MacGroarty)
Born in Donegal, Ireland; died 1088. The noble MacRobartaigh family is related to the O'Donnels, who were the hereditary keepers of the Cathach (Battle Book of Colmcille). In 1067, Muirdach set out with some companions on a pilgrimage to Rome. En route he was induced to become a Benedictine at Michelsberg Abbey (near Bamberg), Germany. The pilgrims stopped to rest at a hostel maintained by the local convent. Its abbess, Emma, learned that Muirdach was extraordinarily gifted at producing manuscripts. Using the seemingly irresistible powers of persuasion that all nuns seem to have, he took up her suggestion and migrated to Upper Minster at Regensburg to create the literary treasures of Saint Peter's Church in Regensburg. The most famous of these are the Pauline Epistles that now reside in the Imperial Library at Vienna, Austria. The quality and quantity of his artful productions, which appear inspired by the Holy Spirit gained for him a reputation for sanctity.
In 1078, he founded and became the abbot of the abbey of Saint Peter in Regensburg. Having successfully taken charge of the church and abbey attached to it for the task of copying manuscripts, other Irish monks were attracted to the mission. The abbey expanded to the point that, within 10 years, plans were made for another such monastery. In this way, Muirdach originated the congregation of 12 "Scottish," that is, Irish monasteries in southern Germany. (The reason for the term "Scottish" is that it was used from the time of the Romans for the Irish. Even 200 years after the establishment of the Scottish monarchy, the term was commonly used for things Irish. Although Scottish monks pressured Pope Leo XIII, who did permit them in 1515 to take possession of Saint James in Regensburg and the abbeys at Constanz and Erfurt. In Germany, the 12 are still known as the Schottenklöster. )
Saint James Abbey, like the ones to follow, was established with funds sent from Ireland. They retained the character and enjoyed privileges normally granted to Irish monasteries. In the 12th century, the emperor granted to the abbot of Saint James, considered the motherhouse, the privilege of using the half-eagle on his coat of arms, the right to the title of prince, and the status of independent statehood for the entire congregation of monasteries, which included the two at Regensburg, two in Vienna, and foundations at Würzburg, Nuremberg, Constanz, Memmingen, Erfurt, Kelheim, Oels, and Schottenburg (Silesia) (Benedictines, Montague).
Michael of Ecuador (RM)
(also known as Miguel of Ecuador and Miguel or Francisco Febres Cordero Muñoz)
Born at Cuenca, Ecuador, on November 7, 1854; died near Barcelona, Spain, on February 9, 1910; beatified with fellow Christian Brother Mutien-Marie by Pope Paul VI on October 30, 1977; canonized by Pope John Paul II on April 7, 1984 (the feast of the order's founder).
"The heart is rich when it is content, and it is always content when its desires are set upon God." --Saint Miguel of Ecuador.
Miguel, baptized Francisco, is first person from Ecuador to be canonized. He was the grandson of León Febres Cordero, a famous general who fought for Ecuador's independence from Spain, and son of Francisco Febres Cordero Montoya, who was influential in the political affairs of the country. Francisco senior was a cultured man of charm, who was fluent in five languages and, in fact, was teaching English and French at the seminary in Cuenca at the time of the saint's birth. Undoubtedly, the son's vocation was influenced by his mother Ana Muñoz and her pious family. She was one of 19 children, five of whom became nuns and one a Jesuit priest. God established the perfect family for the cultivation of a scholar saint.
At the age of nine, Francisco became one of the first students at the school opened in Cuenca by the Christian Brothers (De LaSalle Brothers) in 1863. He could scarcely walk because of a deformity of his feet but he became a brilliant scholar.
Francisco loved the intellectual life he discovered at the school and the humble lifestyle of the brothers. Later wanted to join the order. In fact, he later wrote: "From the moment I entered the school of the Brothers, God gave me a burning desire one day to be clothed in the holy habit of the Institute. I always enjoyed being among the Brothers. . . ."
But his parents objected. They would be proud to have a priest in the family, but could not understand his desire to be a lay brother. Knowing that he had a calling to the religious life and not wishing to disappoint his parents, Francisco entered the seminary. Within a few months he fell gravely ill and was forced to return home. His mother finally agreed that he should try his vocation as a brother.
On March 24, 1868, Francisco became Miguel when he took the black and white habit of the De LaSalle Brothers at Cuenca. He taught languages (Spanish, French, and English) at his alma mater and a year later was assigned to the Beaterio at Quito. The six-year-old school had 250 pupils when he arrived and six years later had over 1,000. During this period Brother Miguel published his first of many books.
But writing and teaching secular subjects was not his primary joy-- his first love was preparing children for their first Communion. And it appears that his joy translated into learning: he was a very popular teacher. Brother Miguel saw his teaching as an apostolic vocation. He wrote: "In the miserable state of modern society, my divine Savior calls me to conquer souls, without really needing my help or without considering my absolute incapacity for any good. Can I be deaf to His voice? Can I be afraid of disappointment when He promises to be with me? Can I be so bold as to refuse this demonstration of love and gratitude? I must engage in all the works that I undertake with a spirit of love, of gratitude for the divine goodness which has been gracious enough to employ me for His glory and the salvation of souls."
Official recognition of Miguel's talents as an educator first came in the form of the appointment as a public examiner and inspector of Quito's schools. In the midst of these duties, teaching, and monastic obligations, Brother Miguel found the time to continue to be a scholar. He wrote textbooks, a catechism, poetry, and works of Christian spirituality. He gained special renown for his studies of Castilian Spanish, some of which became required texts for all schools in Ecuador. Eventually he was elected a member of the National Academy of Ecuador (1892; which included membership in the Royal Academy of Spain), the Académie Française (1900), and the Academy of Venezuela (1906).
In March 1907, he was summoned to Europe to translate more textbooks and other documents from French. The aura of civil and religious unrest in France made it urgent to translate the documents of the De LaSalle Institute into Spanish in order to ensure the continuance of the order's work outside France. Miguel fell ill soon after his arrival in April. Upon his recovery, he worked at the house on the rue de Sèvres in Paris. From Paris he wrote, "I have my room, some books, and a nearby chapel. That is complete happiness."
In July he was transferred to the motherhouse at Lembecq-lez-Hal near Brussels to continue his work and attend the generalate of his congregation in Belgium. He was allowed to stay in Europe so that he would have more time to write. When Miguel became sick in Belgium, he was sent to the institute's junior novitiate at Paremi de Mar near Barcelona, Spain, where he taught Spanish for a few months. The outbreak of civil unrest in Barcelona on July 26, 1909, led to attacks on religious and the destruction of Church property, which caused stress for all the brothers. It resulted in Brother Miguel catching a cold in January 1910, but his condition deteriorated rapidly until he died in the presence of his religious brothers on February 9, 1910.
Brother Miguel's reputation as a teacher and scholar was matched by the renown of his holiness. A popular cultus arose shortly after his death, especially in Spanish-speaking countries. From his earliest years he had such a strong personal devotion to Jesus and the Blessed Mother that they were living presences to him. He conversed with them as easily as with his brothers.
His first biographer wrote: "Our beloved Ecuadorian Brother was certainly not gifted by heaven with that sort of plastic beauty which so easily fades with years. Although rather tall in stature, his posture became stooped quite early in his life. His countenance was dark and somewhat emaciated, prematurely furrowed with wrinkles that came from his sufferings and his practices of mortification. Even so, his facial expression reflected in some indefinable way the beauty of his soul and the interior illumination of divine grace. This reverberated through his whole being which overflowed with a certain gentleness that came from his peaceful and kindly nature. His very thin lips always bore the glimmer of a continual and gracious smile. His eyes, limpid and transparent as those of the most innocent child, sparkled with the joy and serenity that could only be due to that indescribable peace of which Scripture speaks. In sum, the serene expression in all his features gave the impression that underneath there was a calm and imperturbable spirit."
His relics were returned to Ecuador during the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and received a triumphant welcome upon their arrival in Ecuador on February 5, 1937. Within a short time, his tomb at Quito became a pilgrimage center. The government issued postage stamps in his honor and erected a monument in the public park of Quito for the centenary of his birth. At the dedication of the bronze and marble statue on June 4, 1955, 30,000 school children participated in a huge parade (Bentley, Walsh, The Scholar Saint).
Nebridius of Egara B (AC)
Died after 527. Bishop Saint Nebridius governed the city of Egara, near Barcelona, Spain. The see no longer exists, nor does the city (Benedictines).
Nicephorus of Antioch M (RM)
Died 260. Saint Nicephorus was martyred in Antioch under Valerian. The known acta may be pious fiction designed to teach the need to forgive injuries. They tell us that Nicephorus had a long- time, close friend, a priest named Sapricius. The two had a falling out, which turned friendship into hatred. After a long time, Nicephorus reflected upon the grievousness of the sin of hatred, and resolved to seek a reconciliation. Because Sapricius would not talk to him, he asked some mutual friends to go to Sapricius to beg his pardon and promise him satisfaction for the injury done him.
The priest refused to forgive him. Again, Nicephorus tried a second and a third time to forge a reconciliation. Sapricius was inflexible. He had shut his heart to Christ's command to forgive others in order that the Father might forgive us. Finally, to no avail, Nicephorus himself went to his former friend, cast himself at Sapricius's feet, and begged forgiveness.
At that time, 260 AD, another persecution of Christians was raging. Sapricius was arrested, examined, and tortured in an attempt to make him apostatize. The words of Sapricius were commendable. Sapricius received the sentence of beheading with seeming cheerfulness. On his way to the place of execution, he was met by Nicephorus, who caste himself at the priest's feet: "Martyr of Jesus Christ, forgive me my offense." But Sapricius would not answer.
Nicephorus waited for him in another street which he was to pass through, and as soon as he saw him coming up, broke through the crowd, and falling again at his feet, begged pardon for the injury caused by frailty rather than design. This he begged by the glorious confession he had made of the divinity of Jesus Christ. Sapricius's heart was more and more hardened, and now he would not so much as look on him. The soldiers laughed at Nicephorus, saying: "I've never seen a greater fool than you who are so solicitous for the pardon of a man on the verge of execution." At the place of execution, Nicephorus redoubled his humble entreaties and supplications, but all in vain; for Sapricius continued as obstinate as ever, in refusing to forgive. At the same time the devil was working in other ways. Sapricius apostatized at the last moment. Nicephorus, taken aback, demurred, "Brother, what are you doing? Don't renounce Jesus Christ our good Master! Don't forfeit the crown you have already won by your sufferings!" But Sapricius paid no attention.
Then with tears of bitter anguish for Sapricius, Nicephorus confessed that he was a Christian and was ready to die in place of Sapricius. Everyone there was astonished. At first the officers of justice were uncertain how to proceed. Nicephorus was executed by the sword and won for himself three immortal crowns, namely, of faith, humility, and charity (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
Saint Nicephorus is usually portrayed at his martyrdom: He is either in a tub or a barrel and pierced through (Roeder).
Primus and Donatus MM, Deacons (RM)
Died 362. Deacons Primus and Donatus were slain by Donatists during a struggle for control of the Church at Lavallum in northwest Africa (Benedictines).
Raynald of Nocera, OSB B (AC)
Born near Nocera, Umbria, Italy; died 1225. Saint Raynald, son of German parents, became a Benedictine monk at Fontavellana. After being promoted to the see of Nocera in 1222, he was known as the corrector of sinners, protector of the poor and sick, and friend of Saint Francis of Assisi. He is now venerated as the chief patron of Nocera (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
In art, Saint Raynald is shown as a bishop, sometimes in episcopal vestments, waylaid by robbers, with whom he prays (Roeder).
Sabinus of Canosa B (RM)
Died c. 566. Bishop Sabinus of the now-destroyed city of Canosa (Canusium) in Apulia was a friend of Saint Benedict. Pope Saint Agapitus I entrusted him with an embassy to Emperor Justinian (535-536). He is the patron saint of Bari, where his relics are now enshrined (Benedictines).
Teilo of Llandaff B (AC)
(also known as Teilio, Teilus, Thelian, Teilan, Teilou, Dillo, Dillon, Elidius, Eliud)
Born near Penally by Tenby, Pembrokeshire; died c. 580. There is plenty of evidence, both documentary and from place names and dedications, that Saint Teilo was widely venerated in southern Wales and Brittany. (His name may be spelled Teilio, Teilus, Thelian, Teilan, Teilou, Teliou, Dillo, or Dillon.) He was undoubtedly an influential churchman, whose principal monastic foundation and center of ministry was Llandeilo Fawr in Carmarthenshire; but available information on his life is late, confused, and contradictory.
Some facts are fairly certain. Teilo was educated under Saint Dyfrig (Dubricius) and a Paulinus, possibly Paul Aurelian through whom he met Saint David (Dewi). We are told among other things that Teilo went with Saint David and Saint Paternus on David's mythical pilgrimage to Jerusalem. It is also related that during the 'yellow plague,' so called "because it made everyone it attacked yellow and bloodless," he went to Brittany and stayed with Saint Samson at Dol. There they "planted a big orchard of fruit-trees, three miles long, reaching from Dol to Cai, which is still called after their names." After seven years Teilo went back to Wales, dying at or near Llandeilo Fawr in Carmarthenshire, the site of his chief monastery and the center of his ministry.
One of the interesting, though probably fictional, elements of his story is that his sister Anaumed went over to Armorica in 490, and upon her arrival was married to Budic, king of the Armorican Britons. Before she left her own country she promised her brother that she would consecrate her first child in a particular manner to God.
It is said that Llandeilo, Penally, and Llandaff disputed which should have his relics. Miraculously his body multiplied into three overnight so that each should have it. This is the explanation given for the three different sets of relics for Teilo.
Much of the writing about Saint Teilo was composed in the interests of the medieval see of Llandaff, which claimed him as its second bishop. About 1130, Geoffrey (Galfridus), a priest of Llandaff, composed a vita of Teilo in the form of a sermon. A longer version of this life, altered to add importance to the diocese of Llandaff, can be found in the Liber Landavensis. Teilo is co-titular of the Llandaff cathedral with Saints Peter, Dubricius, and Oudoceus (Euddogwy). The last-named was claimed as Teilo's nephew and successor at Llandaff, but it is possible that he was a fictitious character, made up from legends about other people.
The Gospels of Saint Chad (written in southwestern Mercia about 700 AD) became the property of a church of Saint Teilo; marginal notes show that in the 9th century Teilo was venerated in southern Wales as the founder of a monastery called the Familia Teliavi. The book itself was regarded as belonging to Teilo; the curse of God and the saint is invoked on those who break the agreements contained in it.
The tomb of Saint Teilo, on which oaths are taken, is in Llandaff Cathedral. It was opened in 1850. Inside it was a record of another opening in 1736: "the parson buried appear'd to be a bishop by his Pastorall Staffe and Crotcher." The staff disintegrated but the pewter crozier remained. Outside of Wales, Teilo's name is especially venerated in Landeleau (diocese of Quimper), Brittany. His feast is still observed in the archdiocese of Cardiff and on Caldey Island (Attwater, Benedictines, Farmer, Husenbeth, Walsh).
About Saints of the Day
These summaries were prepared in 1998 by St. Patrick's parishioner Katherine I. Rabenstein and are reproduced on www.saintpatrickdc.org with the permission of the author. Note that the content has not been updated since that time and represents the research of the author. An alphabetical index of all saints on our site is available. Source references are also available. HTML formatting © 2007-2008 by St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Washington, D.C.