West Vale Catholics - Covering the areas of Llantwit Major and Cowbridge in South Wales.
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ST. ILLTUD's DISCIPLES

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While 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.
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