(c. 530CE -c. 590CE)
St. Cadfan was a Breton nobleman, the son
of Eneas Ledewig and Princess Gwen Teirbron. As a young man, he was drawn to a life in the church,
probably through the influence of his elder half-brother, St. Winwaloe. He
founded places of worship in Finistere and the Cotes du Nord before
leading a large band of missionaries to Western Wales with his cousin, St.
Tydecho, and friend, St. Cynllo. His companions are said to have included:
Cynan, Dochdwy, Mael, Sulien, Tanwg, Eithras, Llywen, Llyfab, Tegwyn,
Padarn, Trunio and Maelrys.
In Wales, Cadfan founded a renowned
monastery at Towyn in Meirionydd, but later moved on to the seclusion of
Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Isle). The monastery he established on the island became a
Mecca for holymen and royalty alike; and it is said that, not only his
original followers, but some 20,000 other priests and saints were subsequently
buried in the Abbey's graveyard.
Cadfan's confessor was St. Hywyn who
lived just across the water in Aberdaron. Cadfan died on 1st November,
sometime in the late 6th century. He was succeeded as Abbot of Bardsey by
St. Lleuddad who buried him in the Abbey Church there. Centuries later,
his body was transferred to a more fitting shrine in Llandaff Cathedral.