dimanche 25 septembre 2016


Saint Cadoc

Moine gallois (6ème s.)

Moine gallois, il fonda de nombreux monastères, en particulier celui de Llandcarvan dans la région de Cardiff, qui fut une pépinière de saints. Il vint en Bretagne et vécut avec saint Gildas dans une île du golfe du Morbihan. De retour dans son pays, il protégea ses compatriotes bretons contre les envahisseurs saxons, ce qui lui valut d'être assassiné par eux. Les Gallois vénèrent ce saint évêque comme un martyr. Il est aussi très populaire en Bretagne où de nombreuses chapelles lui sont dédiées, neuf dans le Finistère, sept dans les Côtes d'Armor et cinq dans le Morbihan.

Il est aussi nommé Cadfan, Kadvaël ou Kadvoz. Un "pardon" le célèbre le 21 septembre à Gouesnach dans le Finistère.

saint Cado (Cadou) fêté le 22 septembre au diocèse de Quimper: "Il n'est pas impossible que notre saint Cado soit le célèbre fondateur de l'abbaye de Llan-carvan au Pays de Galles (+ vers 577). Quoi qu'il en soit, celui que nous honorons en Bretagne fut ermite à l'Ile Cado (Morbihan). Sa vie en fait un grand pèlerin. Il est traditionnellement le patron des lutteurs."

Voir aussi "l'ère des saints": de 600 à 800 environ site du diocèse de Vannes.

St Cadoc's catholic church, une église sous son patronage à Glasgow (site en anglais)

St Cadoc's church, Llancarfan près de Cardiff (site en anglais)

Au monastère de Llancarvan au pays de Galles, au VIe siècle, saint Cadoc, abbé, sous le nom de qui plusieurs monastères ont été établis dans ce pays, mais aussi en Cornouailles et en Bretagne.

Martyrologe romain

CADO (saint)

vie siècle Saint-guy en Belz 


Ermite dans l'île de la rivière d'Etel à laquelle il a laissé son nom, Cadou a été confondu au Moyen Age avec le saint gallois Cadoc. Ce dernier était le fils d'un roi de Glamorgan et le fondateur de l'abbaye de Llancarfan, au pays de Galles. Ses Vies fabuleuses le présentent comme un grand voyageur qui se serait rendu en pèlerinage à Rome et à Jérusalem. Il serait mort martyr à la tête de l'évêché de Bénévent (Italie). Selon l'une de ces Vies, Cadoc serait passé en Bretagne au cours de ses pérégrinations et y aurait édifié une église sur un îlot désert. Mais un ange lui aurait enjoint de rentrer à Llancarfan. Les moines qu'il a laissés dans son prieuré breton se désolent de voir tomber en ruine le pont que leur maître avait construit. Mais, trois jours plus tard, ce pont est miraculeusement restauré, encore plus beau qu'avant. Saint Cado est invoqué contre la surdité dans les chapelles qui lui sont dédiées en Bretagne. Par contre, aucune pratique analogue n'est attestée au pays de Galles. (BM et SAH).

Villes : Vannes, Houat, Belz, Etel. (7 rues).

Cadoc of Llancarvan BM

Died c. 580; feast day was January 24. Cadoc was the son of a robber, one of the lesser kings of Wales, who with an armed band of 300 men had stolen the daughter of a neighboring chieftain for his wife. In this ugly episode 200 of his followers perished, and out of this unpromising union was born Cadoc, the Welsh saint, founder of the monastery of Llancarvan.

It is hardly credible that form so wild and barbarous a background should have come such a gentle and enlightened prince, but fortunately his erratic and impulsive father placed him in the care of an Irish monk whose cow he had stolen and who had been bold enough to demand its return. From this good man Cadoc learned the rudiments of Latin, and after pursuing his studies in Ireland, preferred the life of a priest to that of a prince.

Legends are told of how one day in his poverty, during a famine, when he sat with his books in his cell, a white mouse ran suddenly on to the table from a hole in the wall and put down a grain of corn. Cadoc followed it and found in the cellar beneath him an old Celtic subterranean granary stacked with grain. It is also said that once he hid himself in a wood from an armed swineherd of an enemy tribe, and there came a wild boar, white with age, who, disturbed by his presence, made three fierce bounds in his direction and then disappeared. Cadoc marked the spot with three tree branches, and it became the site of his great church and abbey of Llancarvan. He himself took an active part in its building, and it became a busy center of industry, "The best of patriots," he said, "is he who tills the soil."

When, on one occasion, a band of robbers came to pillage the monastery, Cadoc and his monks went out to meet them with their harps, chanting as they went, and the marauders were so surprised by their attitude and so enchanted by the music that they withdrew.

But the best story is that of his parents' conversion. It was a happy day when by the river they made public profession of their faith. The robber king had found his Savior, and father and son together recited the Psalm: "The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble."

Cadoc later took refuge from the Anglo-Saxons in the Isle of Flatholmes, and then in Brittany, where he established another monastery upon a small island to which he built a stone bridge so that the children could cross to his school. Finally he returned to Britain and, obeying his own maxim: "Would you find glory? March to the grave," deliberately cut himself off from the shelter of his own monastery of Llancarvan, and lived among the Saxon settlements to console the native Christians who had survived the massacres of the pagan invaders. This was at Weedon in Northamptonshire, and there he met with a martyr's death. While celebrating Mass one day, the service was rudely disturbed by Saxon horsemen, and Cadoc was slain as he served at the altar (Gill).

Ceolfrid, Abbot


Llancarvan, Glamorganshire, Wales, was a college and monastery founded apparently about the middle of the fifth century. Most Welsh writers assign it to the period of St. Germanus's visit to Britain in A.D. 447, stating further that the first principal was St. Dubric, or Dubricius, on whose elevation to the episcopate St. Cadoc, or Cattwg, succeeded. On the other hand the Life of St. Germanus, written by Constantius, a priest of Lyons, about fifty years after the death of the saint, says nothing at all of any school founded by him or under his auspices, in Britain, nor is mention made of his presence in Wales. The other tradition, supported by the ancient lives of St. Cadoc, assigns the foundation of Llancarvan to that saint, which would place it about a century later than the former date. As, however, these lives confound two, or possibly three, saints of the same name, nothing really certain can be gathered from them. In the "Liber Landavensis" the Abbot of Llancarvan appears not infrequently as a witness to various grants, but none of these is earlier than the latter part of the sixth century. The Abbot of Llancarvan assisted at a council held at Llandaff in 560, which passed sentence of excommunication upon Meurig, King of Glamorgan.

Huddleston, Gilbert. "Llancarvan." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 25 Sept. 2016 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09315b.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Gerald M. Knight.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.

SOURCE : http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09315b.htm

Venerable Cadoc, Abbot of Llancarfan in Wales

Commemorated: January 24/February 6 and September 25/October 8

St. Cadoc (c. 497 - c. 580) was the founder of the famous monastery of Llancarfan (c. 518) in the present-day Vale of Glamorgan in Wales. This monastery was to become one of the best-known in Wales, as well as a great centre of learning.

Two of the most popular lives of St. Cadoc were written 500 years after his repose and contain both authentic and inauthentic information. St. Cadoc was the elder son of king Gundleus (or Woolos, “the warrior”) and Queen Gwladys (Gladys; both of them later became hermits and were venerated as saints after their repose) and he was born in Monmouthshire. St. Petroc of Cornwall was a relative, and the priest and hermit Tathyw (Tathan) baptized him and instructed him in the monastic life. It was said that Cadoc had worked miracles even before his death: heavenly light miraculously appeared in his parents’ home and even food was multiplied (hence he is a patron of those suffering from famine). The future saint refused to claim the throne and decided to serve God all his life. He preached very zealously in Wales and later founded Llancarfan monastery, becoming its first abbot. He is rightly considered to be one of the founding fathers of monasticism in south Wales. The name "Llancarfan" from Welsh means "a deer church." Tradition tells us that two tame deer, harnessed to a carriage, helped St. Cadoc build the monastery.

Some early sources say that about 1,000 monks lived in the Llancarfan Monastery at the same time. Llancarfan also had several small daughter monasteries and cells (sketes). St. Cadoc also established a seminary in his monastery which was to produce many holy men. The soil of this part of south Wales, before the arrival of St. Cadoc, was very marshy and barren. The saint and his disciples drained the marshes and cultivated the land so energetically that it soon became fertile land. Thanks to the unbelievable labors of the ascetic Cadoc and his monks, which took many years, this formerly uninhabitable region turned into one of the most beautiful and prosperous corners of south Wales. Apart from the church, the monastic buildings and the seminary, the monastery also had its own hospital.

According to tradition, the future St. Iltut, who later was to found another great monastic centre at Llantwit-Major, began his monastic life at Llancarfan under St. Cadoc. At the invitation of St. Cadoc, Gildas the Wise once came to this monastery. St. Gildas remained there for a year, taught in the seminary and even compiled a copy of the Gospels, which was kept in the monastery church for a long time. The Welsh people loved this Gospel so much that they used to take oaths on it. Llancarfan Monastery was also noted for the tradition of serving the needy.

Once a band of robbers was approaching the community. St. Cadoc with his brother monks, relying on God, went out singing church hymns in very loud voices: the robbers were immediately ashamed and turned back.

It is also recorded that St. Cadoc lived as a hermit on the island of Flatholm in the Bristol Channel, while his friend, St. Gildas, lived as a hermit on another small island nearby, called Steepholm, which is now in Somerset. The friends and hermits met from time to time to pray together.

During his life St. Cadoc studied for some time in Ireland and visited many Irish monasteries, and in about the year 562 he probably made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Rome. From Jerusalem he brought back to his monastery several altar stones which had touched the Holy Sepulcher. Later St. Cadoc (perhaps together with St. Gildas) led a solitary life on an island off the coast of Brittany, not far from Vannes. It should be mentioned that a great many Welsh and Cornish saints moved to live in and evangelize Brittany while a considerable number of Bretons came to lead the ascetic life in Wales. These two lands were very closely linked spiritually. In Brittany St. Cadoc was a very active missionary, and there he may have founded a chapel and a monastery.

Some sources say that in his later years, Cadoc was too old to rule his Llancarfan Monastery and so he retired to a certain secluded place, probably near Abergavenny. According to tradition, St. Cadoc was slain by a pagan in the town of Weedon (originally Beneventum in Northamptonshire) in England while serving the Liturgy. (This tradition is supported by the fact that at that time pagan Saxons and Angles were actively invading parts of Britain and the saint went to England to support persecuted Christians). However, some historians believe that the saint was not martyred and died a natural death. Some researchers suppose that St. Cadoc was also a bishop, but there is no strong evidence to support this.

Among other monasteries possibly founded by St. Cadoc, we can mention the monastery of Brecknock, as well as numerous chapels, churches and monasteries in Dyfed (present-day Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and Ceredigion), Cornwall, Brittany and Scotland. It is said that the saint constructed a stone monastery in the Scottish region of Stirlingshire, in a place called Kilmadock. Cadoc allegedly lived here for seven years and seven churches in the area were dedicated to him. Opponents of this story state that the monastery of St. Cadoc was situated in another place—in the present-day St Ninians near Stirling.

The saint was a close friend of St. Gildas and probably communicated with St. David, the patron-saint of Wales. Among his disciples there were St. Barrog as well as St. Finnian of Clonard, one of the greatest Irish saints (owing to St. Finnian, St. Cadoc became well-known in Ireland). According to evidence from that time, St. Cadoc was famous for his outstanding intellect and so he was called "Cadoc the Wise" by his contemporaries. Later there even appeared collections of his sayings. St. Cadoc is usually depicted with a lance and with a crown near his feet, sometimes with a deer, mouse or pig. (All of these animals helped the saint in his life. A mouse during the famine showed the monastery’s brethren an abandoned and very rich granary, and a sow pointed out to the saint the spot where he was to build his monastery).

At least fifteen churches are dedicated to St. Cadoc in Wales, especially in the south of the country and also in Brittany. A chapel in Cornwall is dedicated to him as well. Disciples and spiritual children of Cadoc continued his labors in South Wales and built many churches and chapels in his memory, particularly in Glamorgan and Gwent. The monastery of Llancarfan, founded by the saint, existed till 1086 when it was dissolved after the Norman Conquest. In the present-day village of Llancarfan (situated 15 miles from Cardiff and just near the town of Cowbridge), where this monastery was located, there is still a large, beautiful and ancient church, dedicated to St. Cadoc. It is visited by pilgrims to this day. Several years ago during conservation work inside this church, fine and bright fifteenth century wall-paintings, depicting the life and miracles of St. George, the royal family members, the seven deadly sins, and so on were uncovered under a layer of limewash on one of its walls.[1]

A Norman church in the Welsh town of Caerleon is dedicated to him; apparently the saint visited this place or lived the ascetic life here for some while. A local hospital bears the saint's name as well. The name of St. Cadoc is invoked against deafness, especially by the faithful in the department of Finisterre in Brittany. No less than thirty places in Brittany (including even an isle called L’Ile de St. Cado) are named after St. Cadoc. In ancient time his name was also evoked against scrofula and cramps.
And now let us say a few words about the parents of St. Cadoc—Gundleus and Gwladys (both reposed in the first half of the sixth century and are commemorated on March 29/April 11). St. Gwladys was one of numerous children of the famous saintly King Brychan of Brecknock, and in her youth was very beautiful. She married Gundleus, then a ferocious pagan, who was a minor king in south-east Wales. They had several sons, the greatest of whom was St. Cadoc. Under the influence of his pious Christian wife and his glorious son Cadoc the king subsequently repented of all his past sins and became a devout Christian. In a miraculous vision Gundleus was soon told to found a hermitage together with his spouse on Stow Hill near Newport in South Wales (now within the city of Newport).

Thus, this devout royal couple began to lead austere ascetic life. Already at an advanced age, they lived in such abstinence that they ate nothing but bread and herbs, drank nothing but water and prayed even on winter nights in the River Usk (which was a common practice among Celtic saints). They attended church every day, kneeling in prayer before the holy altar. But the holy couple did not stop at this. On St. Cadoc’s advice they abstained from marital relations and lived separately in solitude and unceasing prayer till the end of their lives. St. Gwladys then moved to the spot called pencanau in Bassaleg near Newport where she lived an extremely austere life in her cell, standing every day in the river Ebbw in prayer. Shortly before her death she moved to Gelligaer in Caerphilly where she probably reposed.

Many sites near Newport and Gelligaer were connected with her and a number of churches, chapels and holy wells were dedicated to this saint. Today Gwladys is the patroness of both Newport and Gelligaer, though she is especially venerated in the town of Bargoed in Caerphilly, where a church is dedicated to her and a school bears her name. Girls in Wales and throughout Britain used to be called “Gladys.” As for Gundleus, up to his death he wore rags, ate barley bread and drank a little water, and combined prayer with manual labor. On his deathbed he was visited by St. Cadoc who gave him communion. Today he is co-patron of Newport together with his wife Gwladys; the local Anglican cathedral in this city is dedicated to him and a street bears his name. This is a remarkable example of family holiness in ancient Britain.

Holy Father Cadoc and his Holy Parents Gundleus and Gwladys, pray to God for us!

07 / 02 / 2015

[1] This discovery is considered to be one of the best and rarest tableaux of the Great-Martyr George the Victory-Bearer, Patron-Saint of England, in Britain. Interestingly, similar cases of the discovery of medieval wall-paintings beneath whitewash occur regularly. The fact is that the medieval churches of Britain were very richly and beautifully decorated inside, but Protestants, especially the Puritans in the seventeenth century, deliberately whitewashed the walls of churches in order to hide the paintings, which were against their religion. However, this did not destroy the precious frescoes but, on the contrary, helped them survive.

SOURCE : http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/77094.htm

San Cadoc di Llancarfan Abate

Martirologio Romano: Nel monastero di Llandcarfan nel Galles meridionale, san Cadóco, abate, sotto il cui nome furono fondati molti monasteri anche in Cornovaglia e in Bretagna.

La leggenda si è talmente impadronita delle vicende della vita di Cadoc, che appare quasi del tutto impossibile dire qualcosa di storicamente certo sulla figura di questo santo del Galles, cui è attribuita la fondazione del celebre monastero di Llancarfan (o Llancarvon; altri, tuttavia, danno come fondatori san Germano e san Dubricio). Ci sono pervenute due Vitae di Cadoc, redatte tra la fine del sec. XI e l'inizio del XII da due monaci di Llancarfan: Lifris e Caradoc.

Secondo quanto può ricavarsi da questi testi, Cadoc figlio primogenito di Gundleus (Gwynnlliw Filwr o Gundiou il Guerriero), re del Galles meridionale, e di Gladusa (Gwladys), figlia o nipote di san Brychan, nacque verso la fine del sec. V e fu battezzato col nome di Cathmail da un vecchio eremita irlandese, san Meuthi. A sette anni Cadoc ottenne dai genitori il permesso di porsi sotto la direzione di Meuthi, dal quale ebbe la prima istruzione, e poi abbracciò la vita religiosa, passando alla scuola aperta a Gwent (Monmouthshire) da Tathai, presso cui restò per dodici anni. Ben presto Cadoc fu in grado di aprire egli stesso una scuola e fondò, verso il 518 sembra, il monastero di Llancarfan («Chiesa dei Cervi»), al quale convennero molti desiderosi di seguire i suoi insegnamenti. Verso il 523 si recò in Irlanda con alcuni discepoli e, volendo apprendere le sette arti liberali, per tre anni soggiornò nel Lismore sotto la guida di Muchutu. Tornò poi in patria con molti compagni irlandesi e si recò nel Brecknock, ove era giunto dall'Italia Bachan, retore famoso, dal quale Cadoc volle apprendere il latino secondo il metodo romano.

A quei tempi nel paese infuriava una grave carestia e Cadoc un giorno, seguendo incuriosito un topo che aveva tra le zampe un chicco di grano, scoprì una grande casa sotterranea nella quale era un granaio ben fornito. L'episodio sembra verisimile perché i Celti usavano servirsi di granai sotterranei, alcuni dei quali, in rovina, sono visibili ancora nel Galles e nel Cornwall.
Il grano servì a sfamare i poveri del distretto e il luogo dove era stato trovato, donato da Brychan a Cadoc, prese il nome di Llanspyddid. Cadoc vi edificò un monastero, che lasciò poi a Bachan, per tornare a Llancarfan il cui monastero, però, era stato distrutto. Cadoc ricostruì chiesa e monastero presso il Severn, a tre miglia da Cowbridge, e vi aprì una scuola alla quale, secondo Giovanni di Tynemouth, studiò anche il grande sant Illtyd. I monaci di Llancarfan, quando non lavoravano nei campi o nei boschi, trascrivevano le Sacre Scritture e altri testi. Per merito di Cadoc, che ebbe anche la gioia di convertire i suoi genitori, il monastero fu risparmiato dalle razzie più volte minacciate contro di esso per diversi motivi (tra l'altro, dai genitori di un giovane che vi era entrato contro la loro volontà).

Cadoc si sarebbe recato in Grecia e a Gerusalemme (544?) per tornare poi a Llancarfan dove, tra gli altri, si dice abbia avuto per discepolo anche Gildas che, però, probabilmente insegnò nel monastero e non vi fu scolaro.

Secondo Caradoc, Gildas e Cadoc si ritirarono nelle isole di Rouech e Echni per sfuggire i fastidi causati dalla loro popolarità; durante le invasioni sassoni i due si rifugiarono in Bretagna, dove Cadoc fondò un monastero in un'isola delle Morbihan: per facilitare l'afflusso dei discepoli Cadoc unì l'isola alla terraferma con un ponte in pietra. Lasciata poi sotto la guida di Katgwalader la comunità, già divenuta fiorente, tornò in Inghilterra. Ritiratosi a Benevenna (nome romano per Weedon, Northamptonshire), Cadoc vi morì di morte naturale, secondo Caradoc, ucciso da un soldato sassone, secondo Lifris. Colgan e Lanigan danno il 570 come data della morte.

E interessante notare che un ulteriore capitolo è stato aggiunto alle vicende di Cadoc da quanti hanno affrettatamente identificato Benevenna con Beneventum: secondo questi autori, dunque, Cadoc si sarebbe recato in Italia, sarebbe divenuto vescovo di Benevento e vi sarebbe stato martirizzato. A coronamento di queste fantastiche supposizioni, Cadoc viene identificato con Sophias, martire che figura tra i più antichi vescovi di Benevento.

Venerato in Bretagna, nel territorio di Vannes, nel Léon e nell'antica Cornovaglia, Cadoc è celebrato il 23 gennaio nel priorato di San Michele a Newport e nella cattedrale di Belmont nel Galles. Il 21 settembre ricorre la sua festa nella diocesi di Vannes, mentre i Bollandisti lo ricordano al 24 gennaio. Cadoc è patrono di Llanspyddid e di altre chiese del Galles e della Bretagna.

Autore: Faustino Mostardi