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left. Cadoc thought he saw his occasion, and having provided for his monastery at Llancarfan being ruled during his absence, went to the realm of Marc Conomanus, and took up the threads dropped by Paul and established there a monastic house.
A curious story attaches to the founding of this monastery in Scotland. Whilst digging the foundations, Cadoc came on some huge bones, and prayed that it might be revealed to him whose they were. In the night, a gigantic man appeared and told him that they belonged to his earthly remains, and that he was Caw, surnamed Prydyn, or Cawr (a giant) : that he had been a king beyond the mountain range, i.e. in Strathclyde, but had fallen there in battle.1
What seems to be the explanation of this story is that at the request of Gildas, Cadoc sought out the burial mound of his father, Caw of Cwm Cawlwyd, who had been engaged in conflict with the Gwyddyl Ffichti, or Irish Goidels, and had lost his territory to them. Then as a token of friendly feeling to Gildas, Cadoc erected his monastery over the tomb of the father of that saint. The similarity of the name Caw with Cawr furnished the legend-maker with the idea that he was a giant.
According to the Vita S. Cadoci, Cadoc made a pilgrimage to S. Andrew's. As it happens, S. Andrew's was not founded till 741, about two hundred years later.
On the return of Cadoc to Llancarfan, he resumed the rule over his abbey, and Gildas retired to Glastonbury; but the friends were wont during Lent to retreat to the Steep and Flat Holmes in the estuary of the Severn, for prayer and meditation, broken only by visits to one another.
About the year 534; according to our computation, Gildas went back to his monastic settlement at Ruys in Armorica. It is possible that it was now, at his persuasion, that Cadoc also went thither " with a few of his monks." 2 Lifris says that he went there after the death of his father Gwynllyw. But on the whole we are disposed to think that Cadoc's visit to Armorica took place at the time of the great flight of clerics from South Wales on the breaking out of the Yellow Plague (547). But what Cadoc did, perhaps, undertake about this time was a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and to Rome.
His monastery at Llancarfan had now grown to one of great importance and wealth. The legend represents his power there as princely. "He daily fed a hundred clergy, and a hundred soldiers, and a hundred
1 Cambro-Bvitish Saints, pp. 56—8.
2 "Ayant choisi un petit nombre de ses reUgieux." Albert le Grand, from the old lectionaries of Quimperle and Vannes.
workmen, and a hundred poor men, with the same number of widows. This was the number of his household, besides servants in attendance, and esquires, and guests, whose number was uncertain, and a multitude of whom used to visit him frequently. Nor is it strange that he was a rich man and supported many, for he was abbot and prince (abbas enim et princeps) over the territory (Gwynllywg) of his father from Ffynnon Hen, that is, the Old Well, as far as the mouth of the river Rumney, and he possessed the whole territory from the river Golych as far as the river Dawon, from Pentyrch right on to the valley of Nantcarfan, and from that valley to the river Gurimi, that is, the Lesser Rumney, towards the sea." 1
At this point it may be well to pause for a moment over the conversion of Illtyd by Cadoc. The story is told in both the Vita S. Cadoci, and also in the Vita S. Iltitti.
Illtyd, a soldier in the service of Paul, king of Penychen, and uncle of Cadoc, went out with fifty men under him to hawk and hunt, and they imperiously demanded food of Cadoc. As Cadoc had received all his land round Llancarfan from Paul Penychen, one would have supposed that he would cheerfully have supplied these hungry hunters with a lunch. However, he only grudgingly complied with their demands, and the wrath of God fell on them, the earth opened and swallowed them all alive, with the exception of Illtyd, who was thereupon converted, and placed himself under instruction by Cadoc.2
It may be observed that here we have a worn and washed out copy of the incident already recorded, which we suppose occurred at Llangadog Fawr. In one the prince is Sawyl, in the other, Paul. The soldiers of both rudely demand meat, and in both are punished by being swallowed up in the ground.
As we have already pointed out, the conversion of Illtyd by Cadoc of Llancarfan is chronologically impossible. The authors of the two legends no doubt did know that Illtyd had been converted while hunting in the morass in which somewhat later rose the famous monastery of S. Cadoc. The legend writers, to make the change in the life of Illtyd sensational and miraculous, adapted to it the tale of Cadoc's affair with Sawyl Benuchel.
Whether, whilst Cadoc was abroad, on his way to, or return from, Rome, he visited Gildas at Ruys can be only matter of conjecture. He may have done so, and have taken a fancy to the peculiar situation of that monastery, and have learned from Gildas that there was a site somewhat similar to the north of the Morbihan, a
1 Cambro-British Saints, p. 45.
- Vita S. Iltuti, Cambro-British Saints, c. 3; Vita S. Cadoci, ibid., c. 16.
lagoon of inferior dimensions, called the Sea of Belz. The entrance to it is by the Passage of Etel, and this is obstructed by a sandbank. The inland sea of Belz receives only insignificant streams, and is studded with islands. The country round at the time was heath and gorse moor, strewn with countless monuments of a prehistoric and forgotten people. The two friends may have looked at the place together ; and Gildas may have exhorted Cadoc to settle there ; but the latter returned to Britain from his pilgrimage without effecting anything at this time, if our supposition be right.
The Breton Life says that whilst on his pilgrimage, Cadoc met in Aquitania with S. Gonard and S. Lilian. "Who these may have been is hard to determine. Gonard cannot be identified, for he is certainly not Gohard, Bishop of Nantes, 835-843. Xo saint of the name of Lilian is known, but we may suspect that he met Llibio, the disciple of S. Cybi and S. Enda.
On the return of Cadoc to Britain, he learned that during his absence the Synod of Llanddewi Brefi had been held.1 This had assembled, not as Rhygyfarch pretends to condemn the last remains of the Pelagian heresy, but to pass penitential canons. The date of the synod cannot be fixed with any certainty. The Synod of Victory met, according to the Annates Cambriae in 569, and it has been supposed that the Council of Llanddewi Brefi took place shortly before. But the words of Rhygyfarch are :—" Deinde succedente temporum serie alia colligitur synodus, cui nomen Victoriae." 2 This implies a lapse of some time between the two gatherings.
We are disposed to hold that the Council of Llanddewi was held before the outbreak of the Yellow Plague, perhaps in 545 or 546. Finnian of Clonard died in 552, and, as we shall see, he was with Cadoc on his return after the holding of the synod.
When Cadoc arrived at Llancarfan, the monks were afraid to tell him of the assembly, and deputed Finnian to do so. Cadoc was furious at such a meeting having been held without his being consulted and invited to be present. And his resentment was specially directed against David, for the leading part he had taken in it. In his wrath he proceeded to "fast against" David ; 3 he was only induced to
1 "Cadocus quidem peregrinatus est, David vero post ejus disccssionem magnam Sinodum in civitatem Brevi congregavit." Vita S. Cadoci, c. 10. According to the Life of S. David, it was not David who convoked the Synod. He would not even attend it, till compelled to do so. Cambro-British Saints, pp. 137-8.
2 Cambro-British Saints, p. 139.
3 "Quae res non minimum ei displicuit, nimioque furore contra Sanctum David pro tali dedecore succensus, diem cum nocte jejunio continuavit." Ibid., p. 44.
desist when it was shown him, probably by Finnian, though the legend says it was by an angel, that his conduct was contrary to the principles of Christian charity.
In 547 broke out the Yellow Plague, and a panic fell on clerics and laity alike in Demetia. All who could fled across the sea to Armorica. In the Life of S. Teilo this is admitted, but neither the Life of S. Cadoc nor that of S. David mentions that these saints were infected by the panic and fled. But it is quite possible that they did so, and that it is due to their presence in Armorica at this period that we have there so many foundations made by them.
The Breton Life says that Cadoc started for Armorica only two years after he had become Abbot of Llancarfan, an inadmissible statement, but it probably was two years after his return from his pilgrimage to Rome.
Cadoc now, maybe, recalled the land-locked sea of Belz, and crossing over with a body of his monks, went thither, and fixed on an islet at an inconsiderable distance from the mainland, and on that he planted himself with those of his community who had accompanied him.
Here now stands his chapel, with early rudely sculptured capitals to the pillars. In the south transept is the "Lit de S. Cadou," a structure of granite blocks, with a recess in it, into which the peasants thrust their heads, and profess to hear there mysterious whisperings— actually the reverberation of the surf over the bar. At the west end of the chapel is a dilapidated flamboyant screen. In the nave are four large paintings of the seventeenth century, representing the legend, so far as it pertains to the isle. They bear the following inscriptions :—
I. Anglais de nation, prince de Glamorgant,
2. Les jugements de Dieu sans cesse meditant
3. Aux pirates pervers en ce lieu l'assaillant,
4. Oratoire, mon ocuvre, adieu ! dit il pleurant,
His statue in the chapel represents him as still young, with mitre and pastoral staff. The right hand is extended, and is kept continually supplied with bunches of flowers by the children of the little fishing hamlet on the mainland.
The connexion with the island is a causeway of massive blocks of granite brought from the neighbouring moors. This is attributed to S. Cadoc. "He erected an elegant church with stones ; and afterwards caused to be built by masons a stone bridge skilfully constructed with arched work and having its arches cemented with mortar." 1 Such is the description given by Lifris. Actually, there are no arches, and the blocks of stone were never laid in mortar. In fact, no lime was to be had, unless from the pounded shells on the shore.
The biographer admits that not long after, the whole collapsed, but was miraculously restored.2 Lifris says that the island was a third of a league from the mainland, and this, consequently, would be the length of the bridge, i.e. one mile long. Actually it is 306 feet long by twelve feet wide, and is built in a curve.