Illtud is the key figure in the development of Llanilltud
Fawr monastery, the training of disciples was clearly a
primary concern, and it is through his disciples that much
of its missionary activity evolved.
"Iltut had many young men distinguished for piety and
learning among his disciples, but four of them far outshone
the others . . These were Saint Paul, Saint Dewi (Devius)
who was called Aquaticus; also Samson, the holy bishop whose
deeds are recorded in his Life; and lastly Saint Gildas."
It is a tribute to his sanctity, learning and the spiritual
formation provided, that the monastery produced such eminent
missionary saints and an unknown number of monks who in
pursuit of their evangelising activities spread the cult of
Illtud far and wide.
Illtud himself or later monks penetrated a large portion of
South Wales, from Gwent to Gower, and as far north as Brecon
(quite apart from the isolated dedication in Gwynnedd at
Llaneltud, near Dolgellau). Where they preached or settled,
churches grew up that still exist today.
Dewi, listed above, is David. Although his name is included
in the Vita Sancti Iltuti, it can be discounted. These
authors chose to include Wales' most famous saint, but David
was of a younger generation.
Origins of the others indicate the extent of Illtud's fame
as a teacher. Samson was brought by his parents to Eltut at
Llantwit and was ordained deacon by St.Dubricius, better
known as St.Dyfrig, (one of the first bishops in Wales).
Gildas came from the Clyde and his family was forced
southwards by the inroads of the Picts and Scots. He
received his education at Llantwit under Illtud, became a
monk and migrated to Britanny.
Paulinus who migrated to Britanny to become known as St.Pol
de Leon, may have come from Carmarthenshire.