The Life of St. Teilo
I. This holy man, dearly beloved brethren, was from his infancy a worshipper of God; nor is it wonderful, for before his infancy, God had predestinated him to be his servant; he predestinated whom he elected, he elected whom he loved, and he crowned his beloved with the victory of a true confession. The man of God therefore carried on his warfare by being urgent in his prayers to God, and by giving to the poor all that he possessed. What more? he diligently performed the six works of mercy; the servant was never idle with respect to ecclesiastical ordinances; all that was his own he caused not to be his own, and what was not his own, he caused to be his own. For leaving nothing remaining to himself of his own, he gave in exchange perishing for eternal things. O how great, and what a merchant, who gave his own to God, that he might receive an hundred fold! O precious merchandize! O commendable usury! O interest without crime! O gain without blame! Let us thus ourselves acquire gain, that as lenders we shall not lose our profit. O what wisdom and knowledge he possessed, who distributed to others that lie might be enriched himself, who caused himself to become poor, that he might make others wealthy; he exercised pity, that he might obtain mercy. It is certain that such were the principles of this holy man, in which he persevered without intermission until the end of his life. He was therefore 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.
II. 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 the flesh exalted him among men, who, through 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 Eliud. 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 co-operation of the Holy Spirit, be succeeded better than any other in explaining to him the obscure passages of the Scriptures. Which St. Dubricius observing, who hitherto had been his master, and understanding that he could not teach him, was desirous that he should succeed him in the mastership, because he exceeded him in learning and talent.
III. 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.
IV. He more benefitted the faithful by his simple and general mode of reasoning, than any philosopher ever did by his subtile 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,’ 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. Behold, dearly beloved brethren, how God unites his saints on earth, whom he elects to be citizens in heaven; he chose two, that by means of two he might choose many. O blessed life of these two, through which the souls of many persons have received refreshment.
V. In the days of those holy men, a certain people, of Scythia, 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.
VI. And when a certain prince of that impious nation had arrived from the seaport, and by murdering the unfortunate inhabitants, and burning the houses and churches of the saints, proceeded as far as 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 bad language, he endeavoured to tempt them by various schemes, and thought that it could not be better effected than by the blandishments of women.
VII. He therefore ordered his housekeeper to send her female servants to the holy men, 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. Who, whilst they executed the orders of their mistress, and counterfeited madness, became really mad, as it is said, “He that acts in a filthy manner, deserves to become more filthy.” 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.
VIII. After God had punished these impudent women with incurable disgrace, he adorned those holy persons by another marvellous work, and worthy of being mentioned. For when the blessed Teilo and Maidoc 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 to be prepared. And this they considered vexatious, not because they were loath 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, and 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 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.” Which being harnessed, St. Teilo and Maidoc 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.”
IX. And when the holy men had loaded their vehicle, and were returning home, they did not, as is the usual Custom, stimulate 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 brute animals to obey them.” In the mean time, 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 sail and holy in his works.” And that a good thing might not be stifled 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 and 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 every where as good and meritorious persons. God, therefore, seeing that they were adorned with so many virtues adjudged that they should be promoted to ecclesiastic dignities; and lie 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 Padarn, 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. And 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 came to Jerusalem; and on their entering into the city, all the people met them, singing psalms and hymns on account of their arrival, and thus with great pomp they were conducted into the church of the Lord. Who, although fatigued after so long a journey, did not request soft beds, on which they might take rest, but lying on the naked pavement of the church, they continued their prayers for three days; and contemplated heavenly things so far, that 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 bad no outward ornament besides what nature gave to it. Which being humble, the humble Ehiud 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. Ehiud, saying, “Hail, Holy Teilo, and grant that thy prayers to the Lord may be beneficial to us; because today thou art exalted above thy fellow-brethren, for thou hast sat in the seat of our Lord Jesus Christ, in which lie 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, lie 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 lie would, for instructing them in virtue, speak to them a word concerning Christ; aiid as he had imitated him in sitting in the chair, he would imitate him in preaching. Observing them to be warmed with divine love, St. Teilo 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 his 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 office of preaching, if be 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, Padarn, 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 their alternate preaching, as with different dishes, refreshed 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 stedfastly 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 to them, such as suited each person. Padarn had a staff, and a choral cap, made of very valuable silk, because they observed that 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 men from the depth of sleep and slothfulness to the church; so the eminent prelate Teilo, being made a preacher of Christ, by incessant preaching, invited them to heaven. Being presented with these glorious gifts, and a blessing received on both sides, they returned with the greatest prosperity to their own country.
St. 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 Yellow Pestilence, because it occasioned all persons who were seized by it, to be yellow 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 values. 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 Maelgwn, King of North Wales, 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, St. Teilo cried to the Lord in fasting, and lamentation, saying, “Spare, O Lord, spare thy people, who wiliest not the death of a sinner, but his life, and that thou shouldest not give thy inheritance to perdition.” Then 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 St. 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 St. Teilo, the Bishop, familiarly, saying unto 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 nations, and was well received by them. Samson, Archbishop of the church of Dôl, hearing of the arrival of his cobrother 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 nation of Arrnorica, in order to 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 Dôl as far as Cal, and those 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 Dôl is honoured, and celebrated by the testimony of all the Armorican Britons, on account of the conversation and reverence of St. Teilo.
In the mean time, whilst these things were taking place and performed, it happened that Christ, through his mercy, ordered that the aforesaid pestilence, which was called the Yellow, 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! the King of the district, Budic by name, 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.”
And the holy Bishop for some time hesitated, and dreaded to go with him, for terrible things wore 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 his heck, and ordered him, by the Lord’s commandment, to follow him as far as the sea, and cease to emit his poison and pernicious 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 immediately the 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 some time; in the mean while 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 when 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 Dôl, 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 Dôl, and exalt him into 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 Dôl; 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 him 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 it 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 stone coffin, 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 St. Teilo. Sailing together from thence, they got to a harbour called Dingerein; and, lo! immediately the aforesaid stone, 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. Teiho 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 stone coffin, 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. Lunapeius, Gwrmaet, Cynmur, Teulydog, Llywel, Fidehis, Ismael, Tyfei, Oudoceus, and many others, that they might imitate him in conduct and doctrine. Of whom he Consecrated Ismael to be a bishop, and sent him to take charge of 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 which 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 perform it. lie 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 Cowin, who was named Distinnic. that one sick of the palsy was by him healed in the church of Radh, before all the people, on the Sabbath day, and with whatever 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 petty king, named Gwaeddan, violated his refuge in one of his churches, commonly called Llandeilo Fechan, and as he was raging there and committing this act of violence, lie immediately, in the same cemetery, vilely lost his life; and 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, which was situated on the banks of the 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, ho! 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 corpse 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, my dearly beloved brethren, 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.
During whose life, the Church of Llandaff, through his sanctity in conduct as well as in doctrine, increased in churches, and territories, which were given to it, with all their liberty, dignity, and privilege, by his contemporary Kings, Tewdrig son of Teithfallt, Iddon son of Ynyr Gwent, Gwrgan Mawr, Maelgwn, Aircol Lawhir, Cadwgan, Tredecil, Rhun, and many other Kings and Princes of southern Britain; and this was done by naming the churches with their territories and endowments, the description of their boundaries, and the attestation of authorized persons.
The Liber landavensis. ed. by the Rev. W. J. Rees. The Welsh MSS. Society. Llandovery, W. Rees, 1840.
Back to Latin British Texts
Back to CLC