Jun 26, 2008
550AD Derfel the Mighty warrior is one of seven who survived the Battle of Camlann in 542. Broken hearted he stumbles back to his native county of Llydach in Gwent and lives for a while as a hermit. His sorrow and suffering and sadness at the passing of the fellowship of Arthur get him the name 'The Suffering ONe' or 'St Deuil' -the one who mourns. He is persuaded to travel to Llantwit Major (Llanilltyd Fawr) and study to be ordained as a priest so he can serve God properly and studies with St Illtid. He returned to found a small monastery higher up the mountain on the Mynydd Maen at Cwmbran but finally leaves to return to North Wales, where he had been before. For nearly a thousand years people remembered him as the one who taught them fighting and strife were evil. He was a patron saint of peaceful living and farming. someone carved a statue of him to remember him when he died and he is portrayed in armour on a stag (which locals called a horse as the local archdeacon had had the animal mutilated. The statue of Derfel himself at the English 'reformation' was secreted and burned at Smithfield along with the Cwmbran one. Unfortunately and horrifically it was used to burn the gentle friar John Forrest, who had refused to accept Henry VIII in place of the Pope and died a horrible death, while being denied the Blessed Sacrament and foreced to listen to the preaching of an odious bishop of the new order.The Story of St David Lewis, associated with Llantarnam Abbey and arrested opposite St Michael and All Angels Church will be told in much more detail later on. Enjoy!