St. Deiniol of Bangor in Wales
St Deiniol (+ c.584) was said to be a descendant of Coel Godebog, a
Celtic chieftain of North Britain. He founded two monasteries at Bangor
Fawr (modern Bangor on the Menai Straits) and Bangor Iscoed (modern
Bangor-on-Dee). The monks at Bangor Iscoed totalled over 2000 before
they were routed in battle by the pagan King of Northumbria. According
to Bede, it had been the most famous monastery of British Christianity.
Regarded as the first Bishop of Bangor, St Deiniol was comparable in
status with St David and St Dyfrig. Several churches in North Wales are
dedicated to St Deiniol, which is perhaps why the great Liberal prime
minister W.E. Gladstone dedicated his famous library to him at Hawarden.
(Welsh, Deiniol/Latin, Dainiolus/English, Daniel)
Prince Deiniol the Blessed was a saintly man who appears to have already
established himself in Gwynedd in the early 6th century, long before his
father, King Dunaut's defeat and expulsion from Dunoting. Deiniol
settled in Bangor Fawr on the Menai Straits where King M?lgwn of Gwynedd
gave him lands to establish a monastic Cathedral. He later refounded the
monastery at Bangor-Is-y-Coed (upon Dee) under the patronage of his
uncle, King Brochfael Ysgythrog (of the Tusks) of Powys. Deiniol's
ageing father may have become Abbot here.
Deiniol attended the Synod of Llandewi Brefi where he was consecrated
Bishop of Bangor (Fawr) by St.Dewi (David) himself. Upon his return, he
is said to have founded churches at Llandeiniol in Dyfed and Llanfor and
Llanuwchllyn near Lake Bala.
Though he died at Bangor Fawr on 11th September 584, his body was taken
to Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island) to be buried. The Cathedral at Bangor
(Fawr) is still dedicated to him today.
Troparion of St Deiniol tone 4
By thy teaching and pious life thou didst shine forth in the age of
Saints, O Hierarch Deiniol,
and becoming Bangor's first bishop thou
wast an instrument of God's grace, leading many to salvation.
Pray, O Saint, that we may be led into the Way of Truth that our souls may be
St. Deiniol's paper icon may be ordered by writing to:
Rev. Dr. Peter J. Jagger, M.A., M.Phil., F.R.Hist.S.,
Warden and Chief Librarian,
St. Deiniol's Library,
Hawarden Clwyd, CH5 3DF
North Wales, Great Britain
Sacred Places of Wales: Bangor Cathedral
A Meditation on the Precious Cross
by a modern-day Abbot Deiniol of Wales
These Lives are archived at:
content © 2008, Ambrose Mooney
layout © 2008, Kathleen Hanrahan and Mo! Langdon
Page last updated: 27 November 2008
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