Nearly half of the stone crosses found in Wales occur in Glamorgan, which was most open to cultural influences from the east. The localized style in Glamorgan is known for the paneled or cartwheel cross-slab. There were three major workshops in Glamorgan; Lllantwit Major, Margam and Methyr Mawr. This wheel cross is from a cross found at St. Crallo’s Church, Coychurch, Bridgend, Wales. The wheel cross evolved from the chi-rho symbol which represents the first two letters of Christ in Greek. The knotwork is never-ending binding the soul to the corporal world. In order for the soul to begin its spiritual journey these knots must be broken. Another thought is that since the knotwork is unending, it symbolizes eternal life.1
St. Gowan of Wales
5th century. Gowan, wife of King Tewdrig of Glamorgan, gave her name to the parish of Llangoven, Monmouthshire, and to a chapel in Pembrokeshire (Benedictines).2
St. Maughold of the Isle of Man
Died c. 488. Saint Maughold was an Irish prince and reputedly a captain of robbers who was converted by Patrick. Upon his conversion, he became a new man by putting on the spirit of Christ. One version of the legend says that Patrick told him to put to sea in a coracle without oars as a penance for his evil deeds. Another says that he set sail in order to avoid the temptations of the world. In both stories, he retired to the Isle of Man (Eubonia) off the coast of Lancashire, England.
Earlier Patrick had sent his nephew, Saint Germanus, as bishop to plant the Church on the island. Germanus was succeeded by Saints Romulus and Conindrus during whose time Maughold arrived on the island and began to live an austere, penitential life in the mountainous area now named after him Saint Maughold. After their deaths, Maughold was unanimously chosen as bishop by the Manks.
In one of the 18 parish churchyards on the island can be found Saint Maughold’s well. The very clear water of the well is received in a large stone coffin. Those seeking cures of various ailments, particularly poisoning, are seated in the saint’s chair just above the well and given a glass of well-water to drink. Maughold’s shrine was here until the relics were scattered during the Reformation.
Maughold, commemorated in both the British and Irish calendars, is described in the Martyrology of Oengus as “a rod of gold, a vast ingot, the great bishop MacCaille.” Many topological features on the Isle of Man, which he divided into 25 parishes, bear Maughold’s name. A church at Castletown, Scotland, is dedicated to him. William Worcestre said that he was a native of the Orkneys, and that his shrine was on the Isle of Man (Attwater, Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Gill, Husenbeth, Montague).3
Saint Maughold (Macaille, Maccaldus, Machalus, Machaoi, Machella, Maghor, Mawgan, Maccul, Macc Cuill) of Man (died ca. 488 AD) is venerated as the patron saint of the Isle of Man. Tradition states that he was an Irish prince and captain of a band of freebooters who was converted to Christianity by Saint Patrick. His feast day is April 25. He is not St MacCaille of Croghan, County Offaly, who received Brigit of Kildare into religious life.
One local legend relates that Maughold tried to make a fool out of Patrick. Maughold had, according to this story, placed a living man in a shroud. He then called for Patrick to try to revive the allegedly dead man. Patrick came, placed a hand on the shroud, and left. When Maughold and his friends opened the shroud, they found the man had died in the interim. One of Maughold’s friends, a fellow named Connor, went over to Patrick’s camp and apologized to him. Patrick returned and baptized all of the men assembled. He then blessed the man who had died, who immediately returned to life, and was also baptized. Patrick then criticized Maughold, saying he should have been helping his men into leading good lives, and told him he must make up for his evil.
One story says that he retired to the Isle of Man to avoid worldly temptation. Another account relates that as penance for his previous crimes, Patrick ordered him to abandon himself to God in a wicker boat without oars. Maughold drifted to this isle, where two of Patrick’s disciples, Romulus and Conindrus (Romuil and Conindri), were already established. Tradition says he landed on the north-east corner of the Isle near Ramsey, at the foot of a headland since called Maughold Head, where he established himself in a cave on the mountain side. He is said to have been chosen by the Manx people to succeed Romuil and Conindri as bishop.
He is today best remembered on the Isle of Man for his kind disposition toward the Manx natives. Several places on the island, including, Maughold parish, St. Maughold’s Well, and St. Maughold’s Chair are named after him.4
- Butler, Rev. Alban, “St. Macull, of Ireland, Confessor”, The Lives of the Saints, Volume IV, 1866
- Saint of the Day, April 27: Maughold of Man Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- Duffy, Patrick. “St. Maughold”, CatholicIreland.net
- St Maughold’s Well
St. Alphege of Canterbury
Born 954; died 1012; also called Godwine, martyred Archbishop of Canterbury, left his widowed mother and patrimony for the monastery of Deerhurst (Gloucestershire). After some years as an anchorite at Bath, he there became abbot, and (19 Oct., 984) was made Bishop of Winchester.
In 994 Elphege administered confirmation to Olaf of Norway at Andover, and it is suggested that his patriotic spirit inspired the decrees of the Council of Enham. In 1006, on becoming Archbishop of Canterbury, he went to Rome for the pallium. At this period England was much harassed by the Danes, who, towards the end of September, 1011, having sacked and burned Canterbury, made Elphege a prisoner. On 19 April, 1012, at Greenwich, his captors, drunk with wine, and enraged at ransom being refused, pelted Elphege with bones of oxen and stones, till one Thurm dispatched him with an axe. Elphege’s body, after resting eleven years in St. Paul’s (London), was translated by King Canute to Canterbury. His principal feast is kept on the 19th of April
[ see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints/message/1141 ];
that of his translation on the 8th of June. He is sometimes represented with an axe cleaving his skull.
- The Glamorganshire Cross. 2015. The Glamorganshire Cross. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.thecrypt.net/celts/Glamorganshire.html. [Accessed 28 December 2015].
- Celtic and Old English Saints – 28 December . 2015. Celtic and Old English Saints – 28 December . [ONLINE] Available at: http://celticsaints.org/2015/1228a.html. [Accessed 28 December 2015].
- Celtic and Old English Saints – 28 December . 2015. Celtic and Old English Saints – 28 December . [ONLINE] Available at: http://celticsaints.org/2015/1228b.html. [Accessed 28 December 2015].
- St. Romulus and Conindrus – Saints & Angels – Catholic Online. 2015. St. Romulus and Conindrus – Saints & Angels – Catholic Online. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=4641. [Accessed 28 December 2015].
- Celtic and Old English Saints – 28 December . 2015. Celtic and Old English Saints – 28 December . [ONLINE] Available at: http://celticsaints.org/2015/1228d.html. [Accessed 28 December 2015].