St. Deiniol, Bishop of Bangor, Wales

11 September

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The diocese of Bangor, anciently known as Bangor Vawr, situated in Carnarvonshire on the Menai Straits, must be distinguished from Bangor Iscoed also in Wales, and also from the celebrated Irish monastery of Bangor in County Down.

The foundation of the see is traditionally ascribed to St. Daniel or Deiniol (d. 584?) who is believed to have been consecrated by St. Dubricius, or, according to others, St. David.

Some writers place his death in 544, others in 554, while the tenth century Annales Cambriae assign it to 584. Yet even this date is regarded by recent research as too early.

Another Life:

Deiniol (a Celtic form of the name Daniel), born in the early 6th century, was an important figure in the development of Christianity in North Wales. The son of a Celtic chieftain, he founded two monasteries, both named Bangor, one of which was close to the modern town of that name. These were flourishing houses, allegedly with a total of over 2000 monks; many were to perish near Chester at the hands of a pagan king of Northumbria. Deiniol himself is regarded as the first bishop of Bangor. There are numerous dedications to him in North Wales (including the famous library which the Prime Minister Gladstone established in his country seat at Hawarden, near Chester), but few in the South. In 545 he and St. Dyfrig, who worked in the border country, took part in a synod with St. David which settled many matters regarding the discipline of penance (something over which Celtic Christians enthused); this suggests that Deiniol was regarded as David's equal. He died in about 584.

And another Life:

St. Deiniol Gwyn,
Bishop of Bangor Fawr
(c.AD 535-584)
(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 of the Northern Pennines' defeat and expulsion from Dunoting. Deiniol settled in Bangor Fawr on the Menai Straits where King Maelgwn 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 aging 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 Llyn Tegid (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 saved.

Icons of Saint Deiniol

A paper print icon of St. Deiniol 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

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content © 2008, Ambrose Mooney
layout © 2008, Kathleen Hanrahan and Mo! Langdon
Page last updated: 5 October 2008
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