St. Sadwrn of Llansadwrn
(Born c.AD 485)
(Latin: Saturnus; English: Saturn)

Very little is known of St. Sadwrn. He appears to have been the founder of the church of Llansadwrn, north-east of Llandeilo Fawr in Caermarthenshire, but ended his days as a hermit on Anglesey, where he died. The church of Llansadwrn, just west of Beaumaris, stands on the site of his little cell and also his grave, as demonstrated by the magnificent 6th century stone, inscribed with his name, which was discovered there in 1742. It now reposes in the internal church wall.

Sadwrn's feast day is 29th November, although this is probably due to being confounded with St. Saturninus of Toulouse. He should not be confused with St. Sadwrn of Henllan who appears in the Life of St. Winifred.

A figure on a monument in Beaumaris Church may represent St. Sadwrn of Llansadwrn as a bearded knight in armour holding a pilgrim's staff and raising his hand in benediction. If this is the case, it may suggest that further details of Sadwrn's life supplied by the usually unreliable Iolo Morganwg could have some basis in tradition. For he claimed the saint had been in the military before entering the church and was the brother of St. Illtud who had followed the same carreer path. However, he was also said to have married St. Canna and became the father of St. Crallo. There seems to be no evidence that the former existed and little is known of the latter.

St. Sadwrn's memorial stone dates from the 6th century. He is clearly an historic personage.


    © Nash Ford Publishing 2001. All Rights Reserved.