Saint Cadfan

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Saint Cafan
Died 6th century
Feast November 1

Saint Cadfan (Latin: Catamanus), sometimes Anglicized as Gideon, was the sixth century founder-abbot of Tywyn and Bardsey, Wales. He was said to have received the island from Saint Einion Frenin, king of Llyn, around 516 and to have served as its abbot until 542.[1]

Life and Legacy[edit]

A Breton nobleman, he was said to be the son of Eneas Ledewig (Aeneas of Brittany) and Gwen Teirbron, daughter of Budic II of Brittany.[citation needed] He journeyed to Britain accompanied by the children of Ithel Hael o Lydaw; Baglan, Flewyn, Gredifael, Tanwg, Twrog, Tegai, Trillo, Tecwyn and Llechid.[2][3] Other reputed followers include Maël and Ilar. Wade-Evans thought Kentinlau, who accompanied Cadfan to Ceredigion, should be identified with Cynllo.[4] They may have fled the Franks.

At Llangadfan in northern Powys he founded a church before moving on to Bardsey. He also established a 'clas' at Tywyn in Gwynedd, which became a wealthy site, served by an Abbot and clerics from 1147 to 1291, mother church of the cantref of Meirionnydd south of the Afon Dysynni.


  1. ^ Barber, Chris; Pykitt, David (1 November 1997). Journey to Avalon: the final discovery of King Arthur. Weiser Books. p. 265. ISBN 978-1-57863-024-0. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Enwogion Cymru A Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Welshmen, from the Earliest Times to the Present, and Including Every Name Connected with the Ancient History of Wales By Robert Williams, Llandovery, 1852. URL:
  3. ^ The Lives of the British Saints: The Saints of Wales, Cornwall and Irish Saints By S. Baring-Gould, John Fisher, Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion (London, England) Edition: illustrated Published by Kessinger Publishing, 2005, ISBN 0-7661-8767-5. URL:
  4. ^ Wade-Evans, A. W. (1944). Vitae Sanctorum Britanniae et Genealogiae.


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