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Paul Aurelian


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Illtud (fl. c. 465—535) abbot of Llantwit Major

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Patron of Paul (Cornwall), is better known as Saint Pol (Paul-de-Léon), who came from Wales to Brittany in the 6th century and worked as bishop in the neighbourhood called after him. The Vita by Wrmonoc, a 10th-century monk of Landevennnec, makes him a hermit, a disciple of Illtud, who left his country as peregrinus pro Christo, stayed with his sister (in Cornwall?), landed at Ushant, built a monastery at Ploudalmezau, was consecrated bishop, and himself consecrated two coadjutors, dying at the age of 104. His body was translated to Fleury c.960 and remained there until 1562; his head, arm-bone, and bell are in the cathedral of Saint Pol-de-Léon. He is probably to be identified with the Welsh St Paulinus, who lived for some years as a hermit near Llandovery and founded a monastery at Llanddeusant. An inscribed stone of the 6th century from Cynwyl Caeo survives and there are a few Welsh dedications. The original feast on 12 March was overshadowed by the subsidiary one on 10 October, which arose through a confusion with Paulinus of York. His feast was well established in Brittany and the Loire valley.

B. Tanguy (ed.), Saint Paul Aurélien (1991); B. Tanguy and T. Daniel, Sur les pas de Paul Aurélien (1997); G. H. Doble, The Saints of Cornwall, i (1960), 10–60; id., St Paulinus of Wales (Welsh Saints no. 1), 1942.

Subjects: Christianity.


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