Saint Grwst

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Saint Grwst
Born 6th century
possibly in Rheged or Gwynedd
Died 7th century
Venerated in Anglican Communion
Eastern Orthodox Church[1]
Feast December 1
Patronage Llanrwst, Wales

Saint Grwst the Confessor[2] (also known as Gwrwst, Gwrst, Gorwst or Gorst ap Gwaith Hengaer) was a 6th and 7th century saint operating in the Welsh Kingdom of Gwynedd.

Family[edit]

Grwst was the son of Gwaith Hengaer ap Elffin, a Prince of Rheged, thought to be centred on modern day Cumbria, and Euronwy ferch Clydno Eiddin, a Princess of Din Eiddin (Edinburgh) in Lothian, making him the great-grandson of King Urien Rheged.[3]

Hagiographic life[edit]

He may have arrived in Wales in the c.540s[2] at the instigation of King Maelgwn Gwynedd, who granted charters for Christian missionaries, like Grwst, Kentigern and Trillo to set up their individual cells across his kingdom, where he earned the honoured title of Grwst yr Cyfaddefiadwr (Grwst the Confessor). He is said to have witnessed a grant by Maelgwn Gwynedd to St Kentigern, where his signature "Sanctus Gwrwst" lies alongside those of Saints Deiniol and Trillo.[4] However, these dates and events are a little at odds with the genealogies (Iolo Morganwg Welsh MSS. 529),[5] which would put Grwst's generation in the early 7th century, in the c.600s to 630s.[3]

Veneration[edit]

The site of Grwst’s original cell or Llan is now occupied by the Seion Methodist Chapel, with the nearby Cae Llan housing estate the location of the first church dedicated to him by the 11th century. An annual fair was held on these grounds during the 16th century to celebrate the saint’s feast day, with the area known as Gwgrwstw after him.[2]

He was the reputed founder of Llanrwst and his festival, known as Gwyl Rwst, is held on 1 December.

References[edit]

  1. ^ December 1. Latin Saints of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Rome.
  2. ^ a b c Llanwrst.net: History of Llanwrst. Retrieved on 2008-12-14.
  3. ^ a b Rice Rees. An Essay on the Welsh Saints Or the Primitive Christians Longman 1836
  4. ^ Church in Wales: Llanwrst - History of Our Church. Retrieved on 2008-12-14.
  5. ^ Robert Williams. Enwogion Cymru: A Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Welshmen W. Rees 1852