St. Dubricius, Bishop
(Dubritius, Dubric, Dyfig, Dyfrig, Devereux),
He was born at Moccas (Moch Rhos = Pig's Heath), near Hereford; died c.
545. Some old genealogies show Dyfrig as the great-great-grandson of
Macsen Wledig and Elen of the Ways. Saint Dyfrig was an important
church leader, a monk, in southeast Wales and western Herefordshire.
His earliest foundation was Ariconium (Archenfield, Hereford), but his
most important centres were at Hentland (Henllan) and Moccas in the Wye
valley. Dyfrig attracted numerous disciples to the two monasteries, and
from them founded many other monasteries and churches.
He was associated with
Saint Illtyd (f.d. November 6)
and, according to
the 7th-century "vita" of Saint Samson, with the island of Caldey for
whose monastery he appointed
abbot. Later he
consecrated Samson bishop. An ancient, but incomplete, inscription at
Caldey reads "Magl Dubr" ("the tonsured servant of Dubricius").
Saint Deinol (Daniel; f.d. September 11)
were the two
prelates who convinced
Saint David (f.d. March 1)
to attend the synod of
Brefi. Dyfrig spent the last years of his life at Ynys Enlli (Bardsey)
and died there.
In later medieval legends he becomes the 'archbishop of Caerleon'
(Caerlon-on-Usk) and, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth, crowns 'King'
Arthur at Colchester (he is the high saint of "Idylls of a King"), and
the ecclesiastical politics of the 12th century claimed him as founder
of the Normans' see of Llandaff, where he was one of the four titular
saints of the cathedral.
The later "vita" written by Benedict of Gloucester claims that Dyfrig
was a disciple of
Saint Germanus of Auxerre (f.d. July 31),
but this is
unlikely. Legend also states that Saint David resigned in his favour as
metropolitan of Wales.
The relics of Saint Dyfrig were translated from Bardsey to Llandaff in
1120. He is the 'Dubric the high saint, Chief of the church in Britain'
of Tennyson's "Coming of Arthur," and the place-name Saint Devereux in
Herefordshire is a corruption of the saint's name.
Church dedications to him at Gwenddwr (Powys) and Porlock (Somerset)
suggest that his disciples were active in the expansion of Christianity
to the west and southwest, possibly in association with the
Saint Brychan of Brecknock (f.d. April 6)
In art Saint Dubricius is depicted holding two crosiers and an
archiepiscopal cross. He is venerated in Herefordshire, Monmouthshire,
and Caldey Island
Stained Glass of St. Dubricius
Saint Dubricius Home Page
Interesting papers on mainly Welsh themes
Troparion of St Dyfrig
Thou art worthily honoured as the Father of Welsh Monasticism. O
labouring to establish true asceticism with thy
brother in the Faith, Samson of Dol
whom thou didst raise to the dignity of the episcopate.
In thy pastoral love, O Saint,
pray for us that despite our unspiritual lives
Christ our God will grant us great mercy.
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Page last updated: 3 November 2008
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