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St Teilo

  • Celebrated on

Saint Of The Day

Monk and bishop. St Teilo was an important church figure in 8th century Wales, although little is known about his life. Many ancient churches were dedicated to him in Carmarthenshire, Glamorgan and Pembrokeshire, where he was born, probably at Pennaly.

He was a pupil of Dyfrig and Paul Aurelian and founded a monastery which was called the Familia Teliavi. During a great plague he went to Brittany for seven years, returning with Samson. He died at Llandelo Fawr.

A dispute is said to have arisen between Llandelo, Penally and Llandaf about who should have St Teilo's body. Overnight it was miraculously multiplied into three, legends say. This might explain the three different sets of relics.

The tomb of Teilo on which oaths were taken, is in Llandaff Cathedral. It was opened in 1850. Inside was the record of another opening in 1736. A document from this date said the person was identified as a bishop by his crozier and other artifacts. Another silver shrine in the Lady Chapel at the cathedral has an ancient statue of the saint. At Penally there was a shrine of an unknown saint who was later identified as Teilo. But when the monastic community there was dispersed during the Reformation, all traces of the shrine were destroyed.

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