St. Derfel Gadarn
(Born c.AD 566)
(Welsh: Derfyl; Latin: Terbillius; English: Turville)
Prince Derfel the Mighty was
a son of King Hoel II Fychan (the Small) and grandson of Hoel
I Mawr (the Great). As a young man, he apparently joined the Court
of the ageing High-King Arthur and fought for him at the fateful Battle of
Camlann. He was one of the few survivors. The bloodshed he had seen made
him turn to religion. He became a hermit at Llandderfel in Gwynedd, but
was later persuaded to become Abbot of Ynys Enlli (Bardsey).
He died and was buried there on 6th April 660. Derfel is best known for
his miraculous mounted wooden statue which once stood in Llandderfel
Church. It was burnt at the dissolution on the pyre of the Blessed John
Forest, Queen Catherine's Confessor. Thus the old Welsh prophecy that the
statue would one day "set a whole forest on fire" came true!
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