On this day: St. Gwladys and St. Gwynllyw

On this day we celebrate the feast of St. Gwladys and St. Gwynllyw, the first saints in whose story King Arthur and his knights, Sir Kay and Sir Bedevere, appear.

King Gwynllyw (pronounced Gwin-th-lew) abducted Princess Gwladys, after her father, King Brychan, rejected his request for her hand in marriage. The subsequent battle between Gwynllyw's men and Brychan's men came to an end when King Arthur intervened on Gwynllyw's side.

Arthur considered taking the beautiful princess for himself, but Kay and Bedivere convinced him that such behavior was beneath him.

Brychan consented to the marriage of his beloved daughter to the rough pagan king, and the couple lived and reigned happily for many years, becoming the parents of several saints, including Cadog.

Eventually, after a dream telling him to look for a white ox, King Gwynllyw became a Christian and built a wooden church on the hill where he found the ox. In later years, the wooden church was replaced by a stone church and has been enlarged, improved, and rebuilt when necessary, down to the present. (It was Rowan Williams's seat when he was Archbishop of Wales.)

Click here for the Wiki article on Newport Cathedral, known as St. Woolos (a corruption of St. Gwyllyw's).

Click here for the Wiki article about St. Gwynllyw and his cult.

Click here for the Wiki article about St. Gwladys. Notice the white ox from Gwynllyw's dream behind her in the stained glass window.

To hear the bells of St. Woolos, click here.

To see "The Vision of St. Gwynllyw", also known as "The Bell Carrier", by Welsh sculptor Sebastien Boyesen, click here. For details about the work, including the inscriptions at the base, click here.

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