An Irish missionary in Wales, a contemporary of St. Patrick, and among the
earliest of the Irish saints who laboured among the Celts of that country. About
the year 418 he travelled to Rome and Brittany, and thence to Milford Haven. He
erected various oratories near the rivers Cleddau, Gwain, and Caman, and at the
foot of Carn Engyli, or
Mountain of the Angels, which was his most famous
foundation. Among his converts was Brecan (an Irish chief), the ruler of South
Wales, about the year 425, and this Brecan is reckoned by the
Triads as a
saint, who founded numerous churches in Brecknockshire, Carmarthenshire,
Pembrokeshire, Denbighshire, and Angelesey. From the Welsh
Lives we learn that
St. Brenach died 7 April, on which day his feast is celebrated. His church,
overhanging the Severn, is a lasting memorial of the Irish pilgrim who was the
instrument under God for the conversion of a great part of Wales.
REES, Lives of the Cambro-British Saints (Llandovery, 1853); Id., Essay on the Welsh Saints (1836); WILLIAMS, Ecclesiastical Antiquities of the Cymry; Id., The Welsh Triads; MORAN, Irish Saints in Great Britain (1903), new edition; FENTON, Pembrokeshire; Acta SS., I, April; Martyrologium Anglicanum; O'HANLON, Lives of the Irish Saints, IV, 7 April.
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