This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Friday, March 29, 2013

March 29 -- Feast of Saint Gladys

Two years ago, Saint Gwynllyw was recognized on this day in this blog.  The oversight was that he shares this feast with his wife, Saint Gwladys (or Gladys).  Although there's not much to add to what was posted a couple years ago, I must at least make amends to Saint Gladys today.

Gwyllyw and Gladys
She was a princess, the daughter of King Brychan.  There are two old sources of information about Gladys -- the Life of Saint Cadoc (her son) and the Life of Saint Gwynllyw (her husband).  The latter casts no aspersions on her marriage, suggesting that as a king, Saint Gwynllyw was rectitude personified.  The former says he was a scoundrel in early life, abducting his wife from her father's home and leading her into a life of cattle-rustling and banditry.  There's also an implication that she embraced the life freely, a sort of sixth century Bonnie and Clyde.

King Arthur has a supporting role in the Life of Saint Cadoc.  Arthur took a shine to Sweet Gladys and considered abducting her for himself.  His step-brother and seneschal, [Sir] Cai[us], persuaded Arthur to pass on the princess.  Then, when the battle between Gwyllyw and Brychan (and their small armies) is deadlocked, Arthur, Cai, and Bedywyr ride in and tip the balance in favor of the gallant young bandit prince.  Had Arthur not listened to Cai, he might never have married Guinevere, Lanzlot might never have betrayed his King's trust, and Camelot would not have fallen.  The Romano-Celtic kingdoms of Britain would not have been overrun by Saxons, nor perhaps by Normans, and the whole course of western... you get the idea.

In the Life of Saint Cadoc, Gladys gets a little credit for turning her husband from a life of crime, though the bulk of the credit goes to Cadoc himself.  I prefer to imagine that Gwyllyw and Gladys are shoulder-to-shoulder against all Wales, tearing it up and having a great time until their kids call them to their senses.  Anyway, there's common agreement that they quit their evil ways and built a hermitage together until their celibate cohabitation became too much.  Gladys moved away and built her own hermitage at Pencarn, in Bassaleg.  There are several places in the area where she is said to have lived or bathed (how suggestive!), or that are just dedicated to her. 

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