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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.

Another Life:

St. Deiniol Gwyn

(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 saved.

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

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