Tuesday, May 13, 2008

King Meirchion gets his just deserts! The Evil Cyflin and the Saxons St Illtyd Part 2

1)St Illtyd's in the Gower, 2)St Illtyd's Llantwit Major,3) Remains of Church of the Monastery of Lalnilltyd Fawr, 4.Abertillery 5. Ilston, Gower,6.Night Scene Llanhilleth

Cyflin and King Meirchion of Glamorgan-Again

Meirchion had an officer called Cyflin which means ‘ver Acute or very sharp’ in Welsh. He was abominable and persecuted the weak, destroying their possessions and often offended the Abbot Illtyd because he loved the poor and weak. He took too much on himself and rejoiced in the wickedness he did. One day as he stood by the fire in the castle at Llanilltyd, he melted into wax before it, as God avenged the poor and weak, but Illtyd prayed for him, that God would grant an indulgence to Cyflin as he lived by the principle in the Bible ‘Pray for those who despise you and persecute you’.

Meirchion tries to murder Illtyd, but Illtyd is warned

Meirchion was furious and wanted to destroy Illtyd and the Abbey Church of the Most Holy and undivided Trinity.He made ready to reach the monastery and destroy and Kill Illtyd and his monks. These got wind of what was afoot, being warned by people at the castle and so Illtyd ran to hide in a cave near the margin of the River Ewenny. He remained in the cave for nearly a year and slept on a cold stone as a penance for his supposed misdeeds. The ‘Life says’ he was sent bread and fish and drink and no doubt the local people became the hands of God in this matter. Illtyd people helped all the local people as far as he could, but sadly could not return to the monastery. He fasted.He prayed.The monks at the monastery wondered where he had gone and grieved for him.The people he had helped also prayed for him.

The Story of Gildas’ Bell

One day a messenger of Gildas came past the area of the cave carrying a bell made by Gildas which was being taken to St David. As he walked nearby the bell sounded without warning. The messenger continued to Menevia in West Wales and gave the Bell to St David , but the beautiful bell would not sound for St David and so David asked whether it rang. The messenger said that Illtyd had admired it because of its sweet sound and so St David told him that he was not meant to be the owner of the bell, and he should return and give it to Illtyd. The messenger told the monks from the monastery where Illtyd was and he returned to the monastery. They declared while Illtyd remained in the cave it shone in angelic splendour.

Cefygid the Evil Servant and King Meirchion

Merichion replaced the melted Cyflin with Cefygid, another villain. He began to harass Illtyd and drive their cattle off the pastures and confining them in barns. He did not feed them and would not allow others to do so and they would become thin. Illtyd prayed hard for him, for this cruel and evil man, but God got tired of it it seemed, because one night when Cefygid was walking around the monastery, which was at the sea side, he fell into quicksand and was sucked under so his wickedness cold be rewarded with whatit deserved. The marsh is still there and treacherous.

Meirchion goes mad with fury and his Punishment

Meirchion was furious and put on his armour . He rode to the boundary of is castle, ready to commit murder as he had often done before and then suddenly disappeared, falling into a deep pit and being killed. Illtyd left for a while as he had a huge number of people coming to see him all the time and this disturbed his prayers.So he left for a while to the cave of Lingarch, and remained there for three years watching and praying and every ninth hour he received food sent by God and put on a rock, which he believed had been brought by an angel.

Illtyd and the Cave of Garth

One day, Illtyd was sitting looking out to sea in brilliant sunshine and he saw a small ship approaching , which was rowed by two respectable people. There was an altar in the prow of the ship. Illtyd went to meet it as it came in and it seemed they had brought him the body of a very holy man, mentioning his name, and after mentioning it, he was told never to publish it . The man had wanted his body taken to the Blessed Illtyd, who buried him in the cave and placed the altar over the top of it.The relics and altar meant that many miracles were performed there on account of the holiness of the ground.

The Pigs and the Robbers

Two robbers stole pigs from Illtyd during the night, but got lost and so ended up in the morning where they began.They tried the same the next night, but God as supreme judge got tired of their wickedness and changed their bodies into stone and banished them forever from his Kingdom. The writer of the Life of Illtyd says at the time of writing during mediaeval times, that the pig sty still remains and there were the two immovable stones of the robbers and the writer says ‘they are ow in snow, rain and hail, without life’.

Illtyd Returns to Brittany

There was a famine in Brittany and Illtyd returned there. His remarkable progress in farming and agricultural skills meant that he reformed the way they grew food and the next year he was able to feed all of Brittany.The people there loved him and wanted him to return there, but he wanted to return to his home and did so for some years, but when the time came for him to die, he returned to Letavia where he was born. There at the City of Dol he prepared for his last journey. I will read the last days of Holy Illtyd from the Book of Saints.

Illtyd’s Final Days

‘having completed the days fixed for him by his own creditor, who has appointed to mortals the bounds which they themselves cannot determine and well performed the virtues and eminent for his miracles and celebrated for his signs and wonders , he commended his body to the earth and his spirit to the Lord on the 8th of the Ides of November completing his mournful existence and born to perpetual and heavenly life and rejoicing that he should live forever, he passed over to the Lord to whom is all honour and power, and government through the ages.’

There is an inscribed monument commemorative of St Illtyd at Llantwit Major , called ‘Illtyd’s Cross’ on the North side of what is now the churchyard . Kit consists of a fat, elaborately carved stone and was once the pedestal of a cross. Its height is six feet and three inches and 2ft 6ins wide and 1ft 10ins on the top. On the West side is written:

CRUX ILTUTI SAMSON REDIS .SAMUEL EGISAR (EXCISOR) Samuel the Sculptor monk sculpted the cross of Illtyd. And on the Eastern Side:

SAMSON POSUIT HANC CRUCEM PRO ANMIA (for ANIMA) EIUS. Samson put this cross here for his soul.

Llanilltyd Fawr, Llantwit Major is attacked by Saxons

Edgar, King of England drove his army into South Wales because the Glarmorgan men were disobedient to the rule he tried to establish over them . He came to Llantwyt major. He stole all the riches of the area and even took Illtyd’s bell from the monastery and put it round the neck of the most magnificent horse, called the Golden Mount. All around everything glittered in the armour and gold plunder.The King had a vision in his tent as he rested before they divided all the plunder and things they had robbed and he had a vision of tis favourite horse having had his breast pierced and when they looked for it they could not find it. Edgar realised he was a robber and plunderer and told his army to return all the plunder to the monastery and built another church to St Illtyd and repented. Nine days later he died The hose with the bell went on towards the Severn without being stopped by anyone and a great collection of horses followed him. Everyone marvelled at the sound of the bell and the horse found his way back to Llanilltyd Fawr. The monks greatly exclaimed at the miracle. The bell fell from the neck of the horse and broke a bit of a stone, and the broken stone can still be seen. The monks sang glorious psalms and there was great happiness. Unfortunately, there was also excitement at the arrival of all the horses and the canons began to quarrel over who should have which horse. A priest eventually came forward who fairly distributed the horses. So Illtyd therefore restored his bell and useful horses to his monastery, which he continued to look after from his heavenly home.

St Illtyd’s in Norman Times

In 1066 King Harold of England was killed at Hastings and William the Conqueror became King and Robert Fitzhamon granted the lands of the West of England.The Britons began to resist the Normans and attack the English cities and injure the citizens and the North Welsh began to amass an Army and march south. Parts of Monmouthshire had been settled with English people and both Welsh and English spoken there. .The army began to plunder Glamorgan itself and attacked the monastery of Illtyd. They fortified the monastery with thick hedges, barricades and ditches . The Vita goes on about the fight which happened at night ‘…several fell dead at the casting of stones and the piercing of lances and may others, being wounded, condoled with each other, wailing in the contest’.

While these things were taking place thick sparks frequently appeared in the air between the church of Saint Illtyd , and the Castle of King Meirchion, near where the battle took place and they shone bright like lightning, and angelic signs appeared to protect the catholic people. As much the more the armies opposed each other, so much the more ardently did the fiery lights shine in the sky; The refuge of God and St Illtyd was violated, therefore three thousand men were overcome before the castle by a smaller number; unarmed women administered arms to those who fought, weak boys were busily engaged inside, the shields were broken by stones cast against them; terrific outcries were uttered by the enemy and but few escaped having bloody faces; for divine virtue was there present when those few persons on the inside putto flight and overcame three thousand. The assent to triumph might have been easy for them, but brave Illtyd would not grant such an ascent; had they fought by daylight they would have easily triumphed ; but the Supreme Light, the true light would not grant this; there is neither virtue nor vigour where malice remains; this was clearly proved when the multitude from North Wales was put to flight’. The End’

More Sad News from Haut de la Garenne Children's Home in Jersey

Police have found more teeth and bone fragments in the cellars three and four at Haut de la Garenne and have sent them to the UK for testing.A few weeks ago the police reported the discovery of five blood-stained items.

Tests are already being carried out in the UK on the discoveries, which were made last week using specialist equipment and search dogs. At this stage, investigating officers have confirmed the teeth to be human, belonging to a child.God bless all those children.

Madeleine's Birthday Milestone

Gerry and Kate McCann said that their appeal for new information from the public produced an "absolutely fantastic" response, with their new telephone phone line "overwhelmed" with calls.They were stepping outside the media spotlight now that they have as much information in as possible, continue to employ detectives and Scotland Yard, I have heard are taking a much closer interest.Kate hoped the media attention would wane after Madeleine’s birthday. They had set off a juggernaut she said in their desperation to find Madeleine and then could not control it. She said the media coverage, whilst good for alerting people had put pressure on police and then bad decisions had perhaps been made, for example declaring them suspects. They knew the media coverage would be unsustainable over another year and hoped they could get on with their search quietly with all their new information and close involvement of Scotland Yard and their own detectives. In one of their final interviews for the one-year landmark, the couple said they had only survived the past 12 months by not blaming each other for what happened.

No comments: