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Saint Illtud
Illtud Farchog – Illtud the Knight
Born 5th century
Wales/England Border (Ewyas, Gwent and Herefordshire
Died Llanilltud, Brecknockshire Wales
Venerated in Wales and Brittany
Major shrine Llanilltud Fawr, Glamorgan Wales, Loc Ildut, Sizun, Pen-ar-Bed/Finisterre, Brittany
Feast 6 November

St. Illtud (also spelled Illtyd, Eltut, and, in

  • 12th century Life of Saint Illtud
  • (Latin) Life of Saint Illtud

External links

  1. ^ Galilee Chapel Project. "Home". Galilee Chapel Project: St. Iltud's Church, Llantwit Major. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Rudge, F.M. (1910). St. Illtyd. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved September 1, 2012
  3. ^ a b c Father Robert F., McNamara. "St. Illtud". Saints Alive. St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "St. Illtud". Lent with the Celtic Saints. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  5. ^ Bowen, Emrys George. "Illtud", Welsh Biography Online
  6. ^ a b Wade-Evans, A. W. "The Life of St. Illtud". Vitae Sanctorum Britanniae et Genealogiae. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Newell, Ebenezer Josiah (1887). A popular history of the ancient British church: with special reference to the church in Wales. Society for promoting Christian knowledge. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  8. ^ Hall, Samuel Carter (1861). The book of south Wales, the Wye, and the coast. pp. 252–. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  9. ^ Williams, Peter N. (March 2001). The Sacred Places of Wales: A Modern Pilgrimage. Wales Books. p. 21.  
  10. ^ Martyrologium Romanum, 2004, Vatican Press (Typis Vaticanis), page 609.
  11. ^ National Calendar for Wales, accessed 6 February 2012
  12. ^ "St. Iltud". Galilee Chapel Project. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  13. ^ Galilee Chapel Project. Retrieved 12 Oct 2012
  14. ^ Lewis, Samuel (1833). A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. 
  15. ^ a b Llantwit Major site;
  16. ^  
  17. ^ Parker, John. , Appendix: "List of Bishops".The Works of Dionysius the Areopagite, Now First Translated into English, From the Original Greek James Parker& Co. (London), 1897.


One medieval Welsh document names Illtud, in his knightly days, as one of the triumvirate (the others were named Cadoc and Peredur) to whom King Arthur gave custody of the Holy Grail. On this basis, some scholars have tried to identify Knight Illtud with Sir Galahad.[3]

According to the 12th century Life of St. Illtud, Illtud's father was Bicanus, a minor Breton prince, and his mother was Rieingulid, a princess and daughter of Anblaud, king of Lesser Britannia (Brittany). This is probably meant to be Ewyas, an area on the Herefordshire-Gwent border, which retains many memories of Arthur and Illtud's family. He was alleged to be the cousin of the legendary King Arthur, serving him as a young soldier.

Arthurian Connections

The legendary list of "Archbishops" of London includes a "Iltuta"[16] who is sometimes conflated with Illtud.[17]

There is no formal evidence for a cult of Illtyd surviving from before the 11th century. However, in Celtic countries it is the names of places that tell us most about the existence and veneration of the saints during the oldest times.[4] The town of [15]

The Life tells of Illtyd's bell being recovered from the armies of King Edgar the Peaceful and of Illtyd's protecting his people against the people of yr Hen Ogledd in the time of William the Conqueror. There is also a cross, probably of the ninth century, bearing the inscription: SAMSON POSUIT HANC CRUCEM PRO ANIMA EIUS ILITET SAMSON REGIS SAMUEL ERISAR – "Samson placed his Cross here for his soul, for the soul of Illtud, Samson, Rhain, Sawyl and Ebisar".[13]

St. Illtud's feast day and commemoration is celebrated on the 6th of November.,[10][11] but the great 'pardon of Ildut at Locildut in Brittany is held on the last Sunday of July. According to legend, Illtud was buried west of the town of Brecon, in the church of Llanilltud (sometimes challed Capel Illtud, but which was sadly demolished in the late 20th century), on a mountain known as Mynydd Illtud. Near this church, there is a megalithic monument called Bedd Gwyl Illtyd, or the "Grave of St. Illtud's Eve." Until comparatively recently, Illtud was honoured by the practice of ‘watching’ (keeping vigil) at this stone before his festival.[12]

Cult and Veneration

Illtud's own pupils are reckoned to have included seven sons of British princes and scholars such as Saint Patrick, Paul Aurelian, Taliesin, Gildas and Samson of Dol. Saint David is also believed to have spent some time there.[7][8][9]

What is certain is that Illtud helped pioneer the monastic life of Wales by founding a monastery in what is now Llantwit Major. This became the first major Welsh monastic school, and was a hub of Celtic Christianity in Sub-Roman Britain.[4]

[3], c. 1140, Illtud was the son of a Breton prince and a cousin of Life of St. Illtud According to a rather untrustworthy later Norman

St. Illtud was popular among the very ancient Celts, but there are few dependable sources about his life story.[3] The earliest mention of St. Illtud is in the Vita Sancti Sampsonis, written in Dol, Brittany, about 600 AD. According to this account, Illtud was the disciple of Bishop Germanus of Auxerre in north-central France. According to the St. Sampson biography, Illtud was the most accomplished of all the Britons, and was well versed in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as well as every type of philosophy, including geometry, rhetoric, grammar, and arithmetic.[4] He was also "gifted with the power of foretelling future events". It appears that he was an educated Briton living shortly after Rome's departure from the West.[5]



  • Hagiography 1
  • Cult and Veneration 2
  • Arthurian Connections 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

[2].Samson of Dol the Historian, and Gildas of Wales, Saint David of Ireland, Saint Patrick At its height, it had over 1000 pupils and schooled many of the great saints of the age, including [1]

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