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St. IlltudBrittany, on the west coast of France, was so named for the Britons – primarily from Wales, Cornwall and Devon – that settled there from the island of Britain during the fifth to the seventh centuries.

When the Roman legions withdrew from Gaul in the middle of the fifth century, the long-established trade connections between the two peoples were reinforced by religious links from the mainland and the migrant Britons that settled in the region left a lasting impression of themselves upon the language, place-names and traditions of Brittany.

Illtud was the son of a minor Breton prince named Bican Farchog who lived with his wife in Brittany during the sixth century. His father was King Arthur’s uncle on his mother’s side, thus making him and Illtud cousins.

It was while visiting his royal cousin that the young Illtud met and married a woman named Trynihid. Later, he crossed over to Britain while serving in Arthur’s army, and subsequently joined the military services of a chieftain in Glamorgan in southern Wales. As a warrior he distinguished himself and gained renown for his military prowess earning for himself the title of “Illtud the Knight.”

Grief-stricken by the loss of several of his closest friends in a hunting accident, the soldier-knight was miraculously converted by St. Cadoc, who advised Illtud to leave the military and become a hermit. For a short time he lived with his wife in a reed hut by the river Nadafan, before an angel appeared to him, counseling him to leave her.

He received the monk’s tonsure and was ordained by Dubricius and lived in austerity and solitude until disciples began to gather round about him. He then established a monastery, which soon flourished and became the first great monastic school of Wales, known as Llanilltud Fawr.

According to legend, this school was situated on a small waste island, which, at his prayer, was miraculously reunited with the mainland. The story of the miracle may have been inspired by the fact that the saint was skilled in agriculture, for he is supposed to have introduced the Welsh to better methods of farming and to have helped them reclaim land from the sea.

Renowned for his wisdom and piety, Illtud is considered one of the greatest of the Welsh saints.

 


 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for July 26, 2021

To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one wi...

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July 26

 

To one who has faith,
no explanation is necessary.

To one without faith,
no explanation is possible.

St. Thomas Aquinas


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

Sts. Joachim and Anne

After years of childlessness and much prayer, an angel appea...

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Sts. Joachim and Anne

According to tradition, Our Lady’s parents were Joachim and Anne to whom, after years of childlessness, and much prayer, an angel appeared and announced they would bear a child. Much like Hannah who dedicated her son Samuel to the service of God (1 Kings), Anne also dedicated Mary to God as a child.   Hence, we find the abundant iconography representing the child Mary being presented in the Temple.

Eastern tradition of devotion to the parents of Mary goes back to the sixth century. Relics of St. Anne were brought from the Holy Land to Constantinople in 710. In the twelfth century, this devotion reached the West, with Crusaders bringing back relics of St. Anne to Western Europe.

Two popular shrines to Saint Anne are that of Ste. Anne D’Auray in Britanny in western France, and that of St. Anne de Beaupre near Quebec, where countless mementos hang in thanksgiving for favors and healings granted.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

In the Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort relates t...

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The Rosary and the Possessed Girl

In his book, The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort relates that a Dominican, Father Jean Amat, was once giving a Lenten Mission in the Kingdom of Aragon, Spain, when a young girl, possessed by the devil was brought to him.

Father Amat began the exorcism. After several unsuccessful attempts, the priest had an idea; taking his Rosary, he looped it around the girl’s neck. 

No sooner had he done this, the girl began to squirm and scream and the devil, shouting through her mouth shrieked, “Take if off, take off; these beads are tormenting me!”

At last, moved to pity for the girl, the priest lifted the Rosary beads off her neck.

The next night, while the good Dominican lay in bed, the same devils who possessed the young girl entered his room. Foaming with rage, they tried to seize him, but he had his Rosary clasped in his hand and no efforts from the infernal spirits could wrench the blessed beads from him.

Then, going on the offensive and using the Rosary as a physical weapon, Fr. Amat scourged the demons crying out, “Holy Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary, help me, come to my aid!” at which the demons took flight.

The next day on his way to church, the priest met the poor girl, still possessed. One of the devils within her taunted him, “Well, brother, if you had been without your Rosary, we should have made short work of you…”

With renewed trust and vigor, the priest unlaced his Rosary from his belt, and flinging it around the girl’s neck commanded, “By the sacred names of Jesus and Mary His Holy Mother, and by the power of the holy Rosary, I command you, evil spirits, leave the body of this girl at once.”

The demons were immediately forced to obey him, and the young girl was freed.

“These stories,” concludes St. Louis de Montfort, “show the power of the holy Rosary in overcoming all sorts of temptations from the evil spirits and all sorts of sins because these blessed beads of the Rosary put devils to rout.”

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In the Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort relates that a Dominican, Father Jean Amat, was once giving a Lenten Mission in the Kingdom of Aragon, Spain, when a young girl, possessed by the devil was brought to him.

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