Pilgrimage to St Govans Chapel Pembrokeshire

Pilgrimage to St Govans Chapel Pembrokeshire

On saturday 25th Sept some of us embarked upon a pilgrimage to the chapel of St Govan on the south coast of Pembrokeshire. We shared a feast of a picnic and took part in a vespers service in the chapel.

Bearer of Light in the West of Wales
You hid in your cave for the sake of prayer
that the Gospel may spread in Dewisland,
O holy St Govan cease not to pray
that once more Christ may reign in this beautiful land

The Icon of St Govan venerated at the Chapel of St Govan.

The Icon of St Govan venerated at the Chapel of St Govan.

The Icon of St Govan entrusted to the Lampeter Community, venerated at the Chapel of St Govan.

St Govan an Irish monk who travelled to Wales but was attacked by pirates, miraculously finding refuge in the fissure of a cliff. This cave became a home for the hermit monk and is the site of an existing stone chapel built in the 13th century.

Bearer of Light in the West of Wales
You hid in your cave for the sake of prayer
that the Gospel may spread in Dewisland,
O holy St Govan cease not to pray
that once more Christ may reign in this beautiful land

St. Natalia, Martyr, of Nicomedia Commemorated on August 26

St. Natalia, Martyr, of Nicomedia Commemorated on August 26

Ss. Adrian and Natalia were pagans who were married for one year prior to their martyrdom, and lived in Nicomedia during the time of Emperor Maximian in the early fourth century. The emperor promised a reward to whomever would inform on Christians to bring them to trial. The denunciations then began, and twenty-three Christians were captured in a cave near Nicomedia.

They were tortured, urged to worship idols, and then brought before the Praetor, in order to record their names and responses. Adrian, the head of the praetorium, watched as these people suffered with such courage for their faith. Seeing how firmly and fearlessly they confessed Christ, he asked: “What rewards do you expect from your God for your suffering?” The martyrs replied: “Such rewards as we are not able to describe, nor can your mind comprehend.” St Adrian told the scribes, “Write my name down also, for I am a Christian and I die gladly for Christ God.”

The scribes reported this to the emperor, who summoned St. Adrian and asked him, “Really, have you gone mad, that you want to die? Come, cross out your name from the lists and offer sacrifice to the gods, asking their forgiveness.”

St. Adrian answered, “I have not lost my mind, but rather have I found it.” Maximian then ordered Adrian to be thrown into prison. His wife, Natalia, knowing that her husband was to suffer for Christ, rejoiced, since she herself had secretly turned from paganism to Christianity.

She hastened to the prison and encouraged her husband saying, “You are blessed, my lord, because you have believed in Christ. You have obtained a great treasure. Do not regret anything earthly, neither beauty, nor youth (Adrian was then 28 years of age), nor riches. Everything worldly is dust and ashes. Only faith and good deeds are pleasing to God.”

Read More http://ww1.antiochian.org/node/19333

Troparion (Tone 4) –
Your holy martyrs Adrian and Natalia, O Lord,
through their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God.
For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries,
and shattered the powerless boldness of demons.
Through their intercessions, save our souls!

A Gift Of Two Icons

Two icons now in the care of the Church in Lampeter, 6th century Welsh saints, St Ishmael and St Govan. Both associated with Pembrokeshire, continuing to be venerated in their native land.

Isfael or Ismael (Old Welsh: Ysmail), often anglicized as Ishmael, was a 6th-century medieval Welsh bishop of Rhos. He was allegedly also a Breton prince of Armorica

 

 St Govan an Irish monk who travelled to Wales but was attacked by pirates, miraculously finding refuge in the fissure of a cliff. This cave became a home for the hermit monk and is the site of an existing stone chapel built in the 13th century.

 

Bearer of Light in the West of Wales
You hid in your cave for the sake of prayer
that the Gospel may spread in Dewisland,
O holy St Govan cease not to pray
that once more Christ may reign in this beautiful land

 

21st June is the feast of St Celer

21st June is the feast of St Celer

21st June is the feast of St Celer, one of the patrons of our community.

His icon, written by Fr Vladimir, is in our church in Lampeter.

 

Little is known of the life of St Celer, a hermit and martyr who, in the second half of the seventh century, lived in the woods and caves surrounding the healing well. A chapel dedicated to the Mother of God stood over the well. Only a few stones now remain of this chapel, and several very old yew trees. People from all over Wales came on pilgrimage to receive counsel from the holy hermit, to pray and seek healing from the waters of the well. This pilgrimage continued after the death of St Celer. In the Middle Ages, and well into the eighteenth century, a ‘Saint Celer Fair’ was held there from 21 June (date of the repose of the saint) to 29 June (Sts Peter and Paul) and was renowned throughout Wales. Crutches and mementos were left by the well, testyifying to graces received.

The image of God was preserved unspoiled in you, O Father, for you took up your cross and followed Christ, and by your own example you taught us to discipline the flesh for it passes away but to attend to the soul for it is immortal. Wherefore O righteous Celer, your spirit rejoices with the angels.

Annual Pilgrimage to St Cybi’s Well

Annual Pilgrimage to St Cybi’s Well

The Orthodox Church at Lampeter hold an annual Artoklasia at the Well of St Cybi in November.

Troparion  (Tone 1)

By your journeyings, O Hierarch Cybi, you teach us the virtue of making pilgrimages.  Wherefore, O Prince of Ascetics and All-praised Wonderworker, we entreat you to intercede for us that Christ our God will not find our lives to be utterly worthless and will show us great mercy.

Cybi was born in the late 5th century, the son of a Cornish nobleman, Selyf ap Geraint ap Erbin. His mother is reputed to have been a sister of St Non, which would make Cybi a cousin of St David.
He was raised a Christian and is said to have visited Rome and Jerusalem as a young man. On his way home he was ordained priest by the Bishop of Poitiers.

He renounced his inheritance on his father’s death and began to travel in the Celtic world. He founded churches in Brittany and Cornwall before crossing to South-East Wales with several followers. Churches were established at Llangybi-ar-Wysg and Llanddyfrwyr-yn-Ediligion in Gwent. From there Cybi may have travelled to Ireland before returning to Wales. Dedications at Llangybi (near Lampeter) and Llangybi (near Pwllheli) would suggest that he may have resided in these places for some time.

Given land by King Maelgwn of Gwynedd, Cybi established a monastery at Caer Gybi (Holyhead) on Ynys Gybi (Holy Island) in Anglesey. He became a friend of St Seiriol who also had a monastic settlement on the opposite side of Anglesey.

It is said that Cybi attended the Synod at Llandewi Brefi in 545 and later retired to live on Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island) where he died about 555 and was buried there among the 20,000 saints though some claim he was buried at Capel y Bedd adjoining his monastery.

21st June is the feast of St Celer

Icon of St Celer

Our latest acquisition; we have been entrusted with an Icon of St Celer (by the hand of Fr Vladamir Lysak).

Little is known of the life of St Celer, a hermit and martyr who, in the second half of the seventh century, lived in the woods and caves surrounding the healing well. A chapel dedicated to the Mother of God stood over the well. Only a few stones now remain of this chapel, and several very old yew trees. People from all over Wales came on pilgrimage to receive counsel from the holy hermit, to pray and seek healing from the waters of the well. This pilgrimage continued after the death of St Celer. In the Middle Ages, and well into the eighteenth century, a ‘Saint Celer Fair’ was held there from 21 June (date of the repose of the saint) to 29 June (Sts Peter and Paul) and was renowned throughout Wales. Crutches and mementos were left by the well, testyifying to graces received.

 

Saint Emily of Caesarea, the mother of Saints, (330-375, May 30)

There are precious few descriptions of Saint Emily’s life. She was the daughter of a martyr and the daughter-in-law of Macrina the Elder. Along with her husband Basil the Elder, she gave birth to ten children. She instilled the Orthodox faith in her children, teaching them to pray and devote their lives to the service of the Church. As a result of her zealous yet maternal instruction of her children, five of them are commemorated as saints on the calendar of the Church: Saints Macrina, Basil, Peter of Sebaste, Gregory of Nyssa, and Theosebia, a deaconess. Therefore, Saint Emily is often called without exaggeration “the mother of saints.”

O Holy Saint Emily, mother of Saints, ye that stand before the throne of the Most High, intercede fervently for our souls.