St. Gildas
St. Gildas
    St. Gildas
     Catholic_Encyclopedia St. Gildas
    Surnamed the Wise; b. about 516; d. at Houat, Brittany, 570. Sometimes he is called "Badonicus" because, as he tells us, his birth took place the year the Britons gained a famous victory over the Saxons at Mount Badon, near Bath, Somersetshire (493 or 516). The biographies of Gildas exist — one written by an unknown Breton monk of the Abbey of Rhuys in the eleventh century, the other by Caradoc, a Welshman in the twelfth century. Both biographies contain unchronological and misleading statements, which have led some critics to reject the lives as altogether valueless. Ussher, Ware, Bale, Pits, and Colgan endeavour to adjust the discrepancies by contending that there were at least two saints named Gildas, hence their invention of such distinctive surnames as "Albanicus", "Badonicus", "Hibernicus", "Historicus", etc. The more general opinion, however, adopted by Lanigan, Leland, Healy, Stingfleet, Mabilon, Bollandus, and O'Hanlon, is that there was but one St. Gildas. The discrepancies may be accounted for by the fact that the lives were drawn up in separate countries, and several centuries after the saint existed. As to Caradoc's statement that Gildas died at Glastonbury, O'Hanlon remarks that Glastonbury appropriated more saints than Gildas (Lives of Irish Saints, I, 493).
    Both narratives agree in several striking details, and may thus be harmonized: Gildas was born in Scotland on the banks of the Clyde (possibly at Dumbarton), of a noble British family. His father's name was Cau or Nau; his brother's, Huel or Cuil. He was educated in Wales under St. Iltut, and was a companion of St. Samson and St. Peter of Léon. Having embraced the monastic state, he passed over to Ireland, where he was advanced to the priesthood. He is said to have lived some time in Armagh, and then to have crossed to North Britain, his teaching there being confirmed by Miracles. On his return to Ireland, at the invitation of King Ainmire, he strengthened the faith of many, and built monasteries and churches. The Irish annalists associate him with David and Cadoc in giving a special liturgy or Mass to the second order of Irish saints. He is said to have made a pilgrimage to Rome. On the homeward journey his love of so!itude caused him to retire to the Isle of Houat, off Brittany, where he lived a life of prayer, study and austerity. His place of retreat having become known, the Bretons induced him to establish a monastery at Rhuys on the mainland whither multitudes flocked (Marius Sepet, "St. Gildas de Rhuys", Paris, s.d.). It was at Rhuys he wrote his famous epistle to the British kings. His Relics were venerated there till the tenth century, when they were carried for safety into Berry. In the eighteenth century they were said to be preserved in the cathedral of Vannes. He is the patron of several churches and monasteries in Brittany and elsewhere. His feast is locally observed on 29 January; another feast, 11 May, commemorates the translation of his Relics.
    The authentic work of St. Gildas, "De excidio Britannae liber querulus", is now usually divided into three parts:
    (1) The preface;
    (2) A sketch of British history from the Roman invasion to his own time;
    (3) An epistle of severe invective addressed to five petty British kings — Constantine, Vortipor, Cyneglas, Cynan, and Maelgwn. In the same epistle he addresses and rebukes the clergy whom he accuses of sloth and simony. His writings are clearly the work of a man of no ordinary culture and sanctity, and indicate that the author was thoroughly acquainted with the Sacred Scriptures.
    Gildas is regarded as the earliest British historian and is quoted by Bede and Alcuin. Two MSS. copies of his writings are preserved in Cambridge University library.
    Transcribed by Joseph P. Thomas

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.

Catholic encyclopedia.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gildas, St. — St. Gildas, 1) (Pointe St. G.), Vorgebirg an der Westküste des französischen Departements Loire inférieure (Atlantischer Ocean); 2) (St. G. des Bois), Stadt im Arrondissement Savenay, Departement Loire inférieure; 1400 Ew …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Gildas, Saint — • Biographical entry for St. Gildas the Wise, also called Badonicus, born to a British family in Scotland, educated in Wales, monk, priest, died in 570 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Gildas — San Gildas el Sabio Estatua de San Gildas cercana al pueblo de Saint Gildas de Rhuys (Francia). Nacimiento c. 496 o de 516 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Gildas — ▪ British historian also spelled  Gildus   died 570?       British historian of the 6th century. A monk, he founded a monastery in Brittany known after him as St. Gildas de Rhuys. His De excidio et conquestu Britanniae (“The Overthrow and… …   Universalium

  • Gildas — (ou Gweltaz) (29 janvier) Gildas le Sage (ou Badonicus), né vers 510 (493) à Dumbarton, sur les bords de la Clyde, élève au monastère de Llancarvan, en Pays de Galles, avec les futurs saints Pol de Léon, Samson de Dol et Lunaire, prêtre en 518.… …   Dictionnaire des saints

  • St. Nazaire Raid — Infobox Military Conflict conflict= St. Nazaire Raid Operation Chariot partof= World War II caption= HMS Campbeltown in 1936 when she was USS Buchanan date= 28 March 1942 place= Saint Nazaire, France result= All British objectives were completed …   Wikipedia

  • St. Bernard of Clairvaux —     St. Bernard of Clairvaux     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► St. Bernard of Clairvaux     Born in 1090, at Fontaines, near Dijon, France; died at Clairvaux, 21 August, 1153.     His parents were Tescelin, lord of Fontaines, and Aleth of Montbard,… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • St. Alban —     St. Alban     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► St. Alban     First martyr of Britain, suffered c. 304. The commonly received account of the martyrdom of St. Alban meets us as early as the pages of Bede s Ecclesiastical History (Bk. I, chs. vii and… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • St. Illtyd —     St. Illtyd     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► St. Illtyd     (Or ILTUTUS.)     Flourished in the latter part of the fifth and beginning of the sixth century, and was held in high veneration in Wales, where many churches were dedicated to him,… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • St. Robert of Molesme —     St. Robert of Molesme     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► St. Robert of Molesme     Born about the year 1029, at Champagne, France, of noble parents who bore the names of Thierry and Ermengarde; d. at Molesme, 17 April, 1111. When fifteen years of… …   Catholic encyclopedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”