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Saint Cynllo
Llangynllo Church - - 722642.jpg
St. Cynllo Church, Llangynllo
Bornlate 5th century
Probably Brittany, France
Died6th century
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church; Anglican Communion; Orthodox Church[1]
Major shrineChurch of St Cynllo in Llangunllo, Wales[2]
Feast17 July

Saint Cynllo (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈkənɬɔ]) is a British saint, who lived in the late 5th and early 6th centuries, generally described as a brother of Saint Teilo. Cynllo was known for "...the sanctity of his life and the austerity of his manners."[3]


Cynllo is variously described in the genealogical Bonedd y Saint as the son of Usyllt and brother of Teilo.[4] Later genealogies have him a grandson of Coel Hen.[5] Wade-Evans thought he should be identified with Kentinlau who accompanied Saint Cadfan from Brittany to Ceredigion. References to him as Cynllo Vrenin (Cynllo the King) suggest that he was in possession of his ancestral dominions before devoting himself to religious life.[6]

Cynllo's knee imprints, made as he said his devotions, are said to exist in a rock, near the farm Felin Gynllo, which lies just outside Llangoedmor in Ceredigion.[7] A Middle Welsh poem, The Consolations of Elffin, attributed to the infant Taliesin includes the line, Ni bydd coeg gweddi Cynllo, "The prayer of Cynllo will not be in vain."

Several churches are dedicated in his honour, but there is no reliable account of him.[8] Churches and chapels were dedicated to him over almost the whole of Gwerthrynion and Maelienydd.

There are churches in Ceredigion commemorating Saint Cynllo at Llangynllo (said to stand on the site of his monastic cell)[9] and Nantcwnlle, and also the church of St Cynllo in the community of Nantmel in the historic county of Radnorshire, now part of Powys.[10] The latter was almost totally rebuilt in the late 18th century. Cynllo was so popular that even when the Normans changed the dedication of the church in Rhayader to Saint Clements, locals still held Cynllo’s feastday there.[11]

Near St Cynllo's Church, Llanbister was a spring called Pistyll Cynllo.[5][6]

Feast day[edit]

By the fifteenth century St. Cynllo's feast day had been set as 17 July,[2][10] although Baring-Gould, quoting the sixteenth century Haford MS, shows August 8.[12]

Cynllo does not appear on the Roman Catholic National Calendar for Wales, although every parish is encouraged to celebrate its patronal feast. The calendar indicates that "Where no other indication is given the celebration is an optional memorial."[13]

A new calendar for the Church in Wales was produced in 2003; Cynllo does not appear in that either although both the Catholic and Anglican calendars have a general commemoration in November for Welsh saints. Those parishes which continue to commemorate Cynllo appear to conform to the 17 July.


  1. ^ Hutchison-Hall, John (Ellsworth). Orthodox Saints of the British Isles, Vol. III, St. Eadfrith Press, 2014 ISBN 9780692257661
  2. ^ a b Church of St Cynllo, Llangynllo
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel. "LLangynllo", A Topographical Dictionary of Wales, S. Lewis, 1840
  4. ^ Alonso, Justo Fernandez. "San Cynllo", Santi e Beati, June 11, 2008
  5. ^ a b Baring-Gould, Sabine. The Lives of the British Saints: The Saints of Wales and Cornwall and Such Irish Saints as Have Dedications in Britain, Vol. 2, C. J. Clark, 1908, p. 263
  6. ^ a b Williams, Robert. A biographical dictionary of eminent Welshmen, W. Rees, 1852, p. 93
  7. ^ The Poetical Works of Lewis Glyn Cothi, Cymmrodorion, 1837, p. 326
  8. ^ Monks of Ramsgate. “Cynlio”. Book of Saints, 1921. CatholicSaints.Info. 17 October 2012Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  9. ^ "St Cynllo, Llangynllo", The Church in Wales
  10. ^ a b Lloyd, John Edward. "Cynllo ( fl. 550? ), saint", Dictionary of Welsh Biography, 1959
  11. ^ Hurlock, Catherine. Medieval Welsh Pilgrimage, c.1100–1500, Springer, 2018, p. 67ISBN 9781137430991
  12. ^ Baring-Gould, Sabine. The Lives of the British Saints, Vol. I, London, Charles J. Clark, 1907, P. 73
  13. ^ "National Calendar for Wales", Liturgical Office England and Wales


  • Haslam, Richard (1979). The Buildings of Wales: Powys.
  • Wade-Evans, A. W. (1944). Vitae Sanctorum Britanniae et Genealogiae.

External links[edit]