Saint Teilo of Wales

Teilo (also known as Elios, Eliau, Teliarus, Teliau or Télo), was born at Penally near Tenby in South Pembrokeshire around 480-500AD. He went on to study under St Paulinus at the monastic school at Whitland, Carmarthenshire. Here he met and became firm friends with Dewi (St David), who may have been his cousin. Teilo subsequently travelled with him to Mynyw, now known as St David’s, where Dewi set up his religious community.

In about 518 AD the friends, along with St Padam, are said to have set out on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem where all three were consecrated bishops by John III, Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Bishop Teilo went on to found the episcopal church of Llandeilo Fawr (the Great Church or Abbey of St Teilo) in Dyfed, and may also have set up a centre at Llandeilo in Carmarthenshire. However the outbreak of Yellow Fever in Wales around 549 AD forced Teilo and his religious community to flee to Cornwall and from there, over to Dol in Brittany where they stayed for seven years.

Teilo and his followers would not have felt too out of place in northern France. Driven out of southern Britain by invading Germanic tribes, Celtic people had begun to settle there since the 5th and 6th centuries.Read More »