St. Tudwal, Bishop
(also known as Tudwal, Tual, Tugdualus, Tudgualus)

30 November

also commemorated 1 December

Tugdual - pron. TOO-dwahl

Died c. 564. One of the Seven Patron Saints of Brittany. The Welsh monk Tugdual was one of the sons of King Hoel I Mawr (the Great). He travelled to Ireland from his father's home in Britain to learn the scriptures before becoming a hermit on Ynys Tudwal (St.Tudwal's Isle East) off the Lleyn Peninsula in North Wales. He later emigrated to Leon in Brittany and settled at Lan Pabu with some seventy-two followers. Here he established a large monastery under the patronage of his cousin, King Deroch of Domnonee. From here, Tugdual travelled throughout Brittany evangelising the local population. He founded the Monastery of Val Trechor at Treguier and had the foresight to go to Paris and have his land grants ratified by King Childebert of the Franks. The monarch insisted that Tugdual be made Bishop of Treguier where he is still venerated, especially around Leon. It was at Treguier that he died in 564. His shrine can still be seen in the Cathedral.

Three places in the Lleyn Peninsula (Cardigan Bay) in Carnarvonshire perpetuate his memory. Saint Levan, founder of Killeven in Ireland, wrote the life of Saint Tugdual after his travels in Brittany.

Saint Tudwal's Island East (Ynys Tudwal) has a ruined chapel, which is mentioned in the tax rolls of 1291. His relics are claimed by Treguier, Laval, and Chartres. This is believed to have been his original hermitage (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Farmer). (He may identical to a saint with a similar name on December 1; some calendars also show his feast on December 2.) In art, Saint Tudwal is depicted as a bishop holding a dragon with his stole.

Icon of Saint Tugdual

Life in French
Vie de saint Tugdual
Premier évêque de Tréguier. Fête le 30 novembre
Un des Sept Saints Fondateurs de Bretagne

Troparion of St Tudwal tone 1
Having left thy native Wales
thou didst serve God in Brittany, O Father Tudwal,
and both by thy zealous preaching and thy piety thou didst win souls for Christ.
Wherefore we hasten to thee, O radiant Hierarch,
that thou wouldst intercede for us that our souls may be saved.

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