St Caradoc

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Welsh monk. Born at the end of the ninth century in South Wales, Caradoc came from a moderately wealthy family. As a young man he lived at the court of the prince Rhys ap Tewdwr, where he was a harper.

Caradoc fell out of favour after losing the royal greyhounds. He broke off the head of his lance and, using the shaft as a walking stick, went to Llandaff where he was tonsured and entered the service of the bishop.

Caradoc later became a hermit in the ruined church of St Kyned in Gower. Then he went to Menevia, where he was ordained priest.

Together with a group of companions he retired to an island off the coast of Pembrokeshire. But they were harassed by Vikings and Caradoc moved once more to the cell of St Ismael in Harloldston, where he died, in 1124.

He was buried at the cathedral of St David's where part of his shrine survives to this day. Although he was never formally canonised he was venerated as a saint from the early 13th century onwards.

A letter from Pope Innocent III ordering an enquiry into his life and miracles still survives. The church at Lawrenny is dedicated to him.

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