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Born near Penally by Tenby, Pembrokeshire; died c. 580. There is plenty of evidence, both documentary and from place names and dedications, that Saint Teilo was widely venerated in southern Wales and Brittany. (His name may be spelled Teilio, Teilus, Thelian, Teilan, Teilou, Teliou, Elidius, Eliud, Dillo, or Dillon.) He was undoubtedly an influential churchman, whose principal monastic foundation and centre of ministry was Llandeilo Fawr in Carmarthenshire.

Some facts are fairly certain. Teilo was educated under Saint Dyfrig (Dubricius; f.d. November 14) and a Paulinus, possibly Paul Aurelian (f.d. March 12) through whom he met Saint David (Dewi). In his school days, his fellows had suggested that his name was derived from the Greek word for the sun and there is no doubt that in his later life he was regarded as a shining light, illuminating and warming the Church in Wales.

We are told among other things that Teilo went with Saint David and Saint Paternus (f.d. April 16) on David's pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and with them shares the title of the Three Blessed Visitors to Britain. It is also related that during the 'yellow plague,' so called because it made everyone it attacked yellow and bloodless, he went to Brittany and stayed with Saint Samson (f.d. July 28) at Dol. There they planted a big orchard of fruit-trees, three miles long, reaching from Dol to Cai, which is still called after their names. After the time with his friend S. Samson at Dol, he was a guest for a while with Budic, a chieftain of Brittany, who had married his sister Anaumed. After seven years and seven months, he returned to Llandaff taking his nephew Oudoceus with him, who was later to succeed him.

Through the prayers of St Teilo and of all the Saints of Wales, Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us!

Much of the writing about Saint Teilo was composed in the interests of the medieval see of Llandaff, which claimed him as its second bishop. About 1130, Geoffrey (Galfridus), a priest of Llandaff, composed a "vita" of Teilo in the form of a sermon. A longer version of this life, altered to add importance to the diocese of Llandaff, can be found in the "Liber Landavensis." Teilo is co-titular patron of the Llandaff cathedral with Saints Peter, Dubricius, and Oudoceus (Euddogwy). The last-named was Teilo's nephew and successor at Llandaff.

The Gospels of Saint Chad (f.d. March 2) (written in southwestern Mercia about 700 AD) became the property of a church of Saint Teilo; marginal notes show that in the 9th century Teilo was venerated in southern Wales as the founder of a monastery called the "Familia Teliavi.". The book itself was regarded as belonging to Teilo; the curse of God and the saint is invoked on those who break the agreements contained in it.

One of the wise sayings ascribed to S.Teilo is, It is not good to contend against God, and he is reputed to have answered S. Cadoc's question What is the greatest wisdom in a man? with the words, To refrain from injuring another when he has the power to do so. When the saint died at Llandeilo Fawr the clergy there contended with those of Penally and Llandaff for custody of his body, but eventually they agreed to leave the decision to God. Next morning they found that the one body had become three so they all could claim to have his relics. His biographer makes it quite clear that he believes that the real body went to Llandaff and was translated into the present Cathedral. It lies on the south side of the presbytery, beneath a Norman window, with an effigy of a bishop on top of the tomb, which dates from the fourteenth century. The tomb of Saint Teilo, on which oaths are taken, is in Llandaff Cathedral. It was opened in 1850. Inside it was a record of another opening in 1736: the person buried appear'd to be a bishop by his Pastorall Staffe and Crotcher. The staff disintegrated but the pewter crozier remained. In medieval times it was the custom to take solemn oaths upon the tomb of St.Teilo and upon all the holy relics in the same church.

Outside of Wales, Teilo's name is especially venerated in Landeleau (diocese of Quimper), Brittany. His feast is still observed in the archdiocese of Cardiff and on Caldey Island (Attwater, Benedictines, Farmer, Husenbeth, Walsh).

Troparion of St Teilo
Tone 4
As a fountain of the true Faith,
thou didst issue forth the life-giving waters of salvation, O Hierarch Teilo.
Wherefore, we implore thee,
intercede with Christ our God
that our souls may be saved.

Kontakion of St Teilo
Tone 1
O teacher of pure doctrine, joy of monastics
and Dewi Sant's fellow pilgrim to Jerusalem,
where thou wast elevated to the episcopate, most pious Father Teilo,
we keep festival in thy honour, praying for grace to follow in thy footsteps.

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