St. Derfel Gadarn
(Born c.AD 566)
(Welsh: Derfyl; Latin: Terbillius; English: Turville)

Prince Derfel the Mighty was a son of Hoel Fychan (the Younger) and grandson of Hoel Mawr (the Great). Legend says that, as a young man, he 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.

Records of St. Defel only seem to date back to the 15th century but the Llanderfel place-name is much older. He is generally considered legendary.


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