Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I’m back from a long hiatus from blogging with some fun history facts for the day. Did you know St. Patrick was actually Welsh? He was kidnapped by pirates and taken to Ireland (“kidnapped by pirates is good!” 😉 ). According to legend, he was taken from Cor Tewdws, or the College of Theodosius, in modern Llantwit Major, Wales (on the south coast–you can see Devon across the channel on a clear day), the first college in Great Britain, and later a monastery as well. It was sacked by the Irish, The Vikings, and the possibly the Normans, but it survived until Henry the Eighth dissolved the monasteries. The church of St. Illtyd was probably built on the site of the ruins, and is still standing today. The pictures below show the ancient Celtic crosses discovered on the church grounds, and the beach where the raiders would have to have landed (the shores are very rocky, and it’s quite a hike up to the monastery site–those pirates must have been in great shape!).

St. Patrick is an interesting historical figure because, despite living in about 400 A.D., we still have some of his writings, and very few writings of any kind survived from that time. Also, his story is pretty remarkable. He was kidnapped and forced into slavery, then escaped, but instead of hating his captors, he chose to return and teach them the faith he loved. If the Irish saved civilization, it was a Welshman who showed them the way. 🙂

St. Illtyd’s Church, Llantwit Major, probable site of the ancient College of Theodosius, or Cor Tewdws
The beach below Llantwit Major
Portion of an ancient Celtic cross found at St. Illtyd’s Church
Ancient Celtic cross found at St. Illtyd’s church