Posted by: anna | November 7, 2010

St Cadfarch

Today (25 October) the yorkthodox calendar lists a St Cadfarch. A Cadfarch is also listed for yesterday. Given the frequent conflations and bifurcations of saints’ lives, this might be a good day to investigate both…
S. CADFARCH was a son of the well-known Caradog Freichfras ab Llyr Merini, by Tegau Eurfron, daughter of Nudd Hael, celebrated in the Triads for her beauty and chastity. He had as brothers SS. Cawrdaf, Tangwn, and Maethlu, and he was the father of S. Elgud.He was a saint or monk of Bangor Dunawd on the banks of the Dee, and, formerly, the patron of the church of Abererch, in the promontory of Lleyn. His brother Cawrdaf is now generally, and has been for some time, accounted the patron of Abererch, as also sometimes of Llangoed, in Anglesey, either solely or conjointly with Tangwn. The older genealogies, however, never associate Cawrdaf with either. There is a Ffynnon Gadfarch near the site of a now extinct capella, called Llangedwydd, at the northern end of Abererch parish, and a Ffynnon Gawrdaf at Abererch. There is also a Cadair Gawrdaf (his chair) near the church.
Cadfarch is the patron of Penegoes church, called occasionally Llangadfarch, in Montgomeryshire. On the chalice, dated 1728, the church is called ” Ecclesia de Pen Egwest alias Llan Gadfarch.” Ffynnon Gadfarch is mentioned in the terrier of 1687, and Bishop Maddox in his MS. book Z, in the Episcopal Library at S. Asaph, has the following note, ” St. Gadfarch’s Well is in one field of ye Glebe. Ano’yr P’cel of ye Glebe is called Erw Gadfarch.” The well is still esteemed for its efficacy in cases of rheumatism. One of the fields on the glebe belonging to Meifod is also called Ffynnon Gadfarch.
His Festival, October 24, is not found in the earlier calendars, but it occurs in the calendars in the Welsh Prymers of 1618 and 1633, in the calendar prefixed to Allwydd Paradwys, 1670 (as Calofarch), and in almanacks generally of the eighteenth century. Browne Willis also gives the same day. See S. CAWRDAF.
His name has a parallel in the Greek Ippomachos. As a common noun it means a war-horse or charger.
There is an icon by Aidan Hart at including a St Gwydfarch, but the WSIP identifies this Gwydfarch as an ‘ascetic of Wales’ and I don’t see why these two would be confused. I conclude that there are not two SS Cadfarch, and it’s a confusion on yorkthodox. But several places online call him a disciple of St Illtyd, but Baring-Gould doesn’t mention this.
Troparion of St Cadfarch tone 8
Brother and companion of saints, O Father Cadfarch,/ thou art truly numbered among the Righteous of the Age of Saints./ Wherefore intercede for us, weak as we are,/ that Christ our God will grant us great mercy.
Holy St Cadfarch, pray to God for us.

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