St. Madoc Ailither
(Born c.AD 498)
(Welsh: Madog; Latin: Matocus; English: Maddock)

Prince Madoc the Pilgrim was the son of King Sawyl Benuchel (the Arrogant) of the Southern Pennines by his first wife, the daughter of King Muiredach of Ulster. As such, he was brought up at his grandfather's Irish court  where he became interested in the Christian religion. He was educated in Leinster before travelling across the Irish Sea to Glyn Rhosyn to study the scriptures under St. Dewi (David). He was later taught by St. Cennydd at Llangennith, and founded the church at nearby Llanmadoc on the Gower Peninsula. Madoc was well known for his kindness to the poor and often gave away his food and clothes to them, while he himself lived on bread and water. Upon St. Dewi's death, he became the Abbot of Glyn Rhosyn, but later returned to Ireland to found famous monasteries like Ferns, Drumlane, Rossinver and Clonmore. He died in extreme old age on a visit to Mynyw (St. Davids) on 31st January (or 25th April) 626. His body was taken back to Ireland for burial though. His relics can still be seen in Armagh Cathedral and in the National Museum of Ireland.

Records of St. Madoc date back to the 12th century. He is generally considered historic.


    © Nash Ford Publishing 2001. All Rights Reserved.