National Calendar for Wales

The Calendar includes the Feasts of the 6 patrons of Europe established by Pope John Paul II.

  • The Roman Missal, 3rd edition contains proper texts for the National Calendar.
  • Where no other indication is given the celebration is an optional memorial.

February

9 February

St Teilo

bishop

Teilo lived in the sixth century studying under St Paulinus at Llandeusant and, as a monk, with St David at Mynyw. He founded his own monastery at Llandeilo Fawr where he probably died. A later tradition has St Teilo, accompanied by St David and St Padarn, make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. He spent some years in Brittany. At Llandaff he is venerated as founder of the see.

14 February

St Cyril and St Methodius Feast

monk and bishop, patrons of Europe

St Cyril and St Methodius were brothers from Thessalonica (Greece). Cyril was born about 826 and died at Rome in 869; Methodius was born about 815 and died in Velehrad (Czech Republic) in 885. With papal approval they preached the gospel in Moravia using their own translations of the Scriptures and the liturgy in the local language. These translations into Slavonic were based on an alphabet they invented, now called Cyrillic. Cyril and Methodius are honoured as apostles of the Slavic peoples.

  • Proper of Saints
  • Common of pastors: for founders of churches, or for missionaries

March

1 March

St David Feast

bishop, patron of Wales

Very little is known about the life of David (Dewi Sant); even the year of his death is uncertain, but was probably at the end of the 6th century. To him is attributed the foundation of ten monasteries, most notably that of Mynyw or Menevia in Dyfed, where the communities led very strict lives in accordance with the practices of the Egyptian hermits. He was first venerated in South Wales, but his cult followed his monks to Ireland, Brittany, Cornwall and England, and his shrine at Mynyw (St David’s) became a place of pilgrimage in the 12th century, from which time he has been honoured as the patron of Wales.

April

20 April

St Beuno

abbot

St Beuno is venerated as the spiritual father of St Winefride, but he was also a leading monastic figure in the sixth century. He founded churches and monasteries, was noted for works of mercy, and died at Clynnog Fawr, where his shrine chapel is still a centre of devotion.

29 April

St Catherine of Siena Feast

St Catherine was born at Siena (Italy) in 1347 and died at Rome on this day in 1380. Committed to the practice of prayer and penance from an early age, she entered the Dominican Third Order while still an adolescent. Catherine is remembered for her holiness and determination and, though she never learned to write, for the quality of her teachings. She is remembered also as a mystic and a reformer of religious life.

  • Proper of Saints

May

5 May

St Asaph Memorial

The little we know of St Asaph is found in the Life of St Kentigern a bishop of Glasgow who in the seventh century founded a monastery in North Wales called Llanelwy, and later St Asaph. On his departure he instituted a beloved disciple, Asaph, bishop of a see ruled from the monastery. With some other Welsh communities Llanelwy practised the ‘Laus Perennis’, a system of celebrating the divine office in relays so that worship was maintained without interruption.

June

20 June

St Alban, St Julius and St Aaron

martyrs

Veneration of Alban as Protomartyr of Britain depends on a cult of great antiquity at St Alban’s, known during the years of Roman occupation as Verulanium. Bede records in his Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation how, during a persecution by Diocletian, Alban surrendered himself in place of a Christian priest, and so unbaptised by water, attained a baptism of blood. In the same persecution Julius and Aaron, at Caerleon on Usk, are named among others who gave their lives for the faith.

July

11 July

St Benedict Feast

abbot, patron of Europe

Born at Norcia (Italy) about 480, St Benedict died at Monte Cassino about 547. After studies in Rome he became a hermit at Subiaco, where many sought his counsel. He then founded the monastery at Monte Cassino. Benedict is remembered for his widely influential monastic rule, combining work and prayer, and for his charity and moderation.

  • Proper of Saints

12 July

St John Jones Memorial

priest, martyr

St John Jones was a native of Clynnog Fawr near Caernarvon. He studied at the English College at Douai. After his ordination at Rheims in 1585 he returned to the English mission but was captured and imprisoned in Wisbech Castle. He either escaped or was released and about 1592 made his profession as a Franciscan at the Convent of Ara Coeli in Rome, taking the name Godfrey. He returned to the mission but after two years was arrested in Staffordshire, confined in the Marshalsea Prison, London, and finally executed in Southwark in 1598.

23 July

St Bridget of Sweden Feast

religious, patron of Europe

Born in Sweden about 1303, St Bridget died at Rome on this day in 1373. She was a devoted wife and the mother of eight children, one of whom was Saint Catherine of Sweden. After being widowed, Bridget founded a religious order (Bridgettines). She is remembered for her asceticism, her dedication to reform within the Church, and her lifelong mystical experience of Christ’s passion.

  • Proper of Saints

23 July

St Philip Evans and St John Lloyd Memorial

Philip Evans, born in Monmouth, became a Jesuit at Saint Omer and after his ordination in 1675 ministered to Catholics in South Wales for four years. In the national frenzy occasioned by the Oates plot he was apprehended and imprisoned in Cardiff, where he was joined by John Lloyd of Brecon, a secular priest trained at Valladolid. They suffered the usual barbarous execution at Cardiff on July 22, 1679.

August

3 August

St Germanus of Auxerre

bishop

Germanus was a bishop of Auxerre in Gaul who, according to St Bede the Venerable and other records, came as apostolic visitor to Britain in the early years of the fifth century to strengthen the Church in faith and practice. He is particularly noted for leading his British converts, newly baptised at Easter, in a bloodless victory over invading pagan forces, with Alleluia as their cry. Lives of early Saints reverence Germanus as a founder of monastic life in Wales.

9 August

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) Feast

virgin, martyr, patron of Europe

  • Common of Martyrs
  • Common of Virgins

26 August

St David Lewis Memorial

priest, martyr

David Lewis had as a great uncle Father Augustine Baker, the Benedictine author of ‘Holy Wisdom’. He was reconciled to the Church at the age of twenty, studied for the priesthood at the Venerable English College, Rome, and subsequently entered the Society of Jesus. For thirty years he laboured on the HerefordñMonmouth border where he became known as Father of the Poor. He was taken during the national scare occasioned by the Titus Oates Plot, imprisoned at Monmouth and executed at Usk on August 27, 1679, the last of the Welsh martyrs.

September

11 September

St Deiniol

bishop

Little is known of St Deiniol. He was grandson of Pabo Post Prydyn, the British Hero who renounced the world and died a hermit in Anglesey, and son of Dunawd, founder of the monastery of Bangor on the Dee. He himself was founder of Bangor in Arfon, where traditionally he also became bishop. He was buried on Ynys EnllióBardsey Island

.

October

9 October

Bl. John Henry Newman

priest

Born in London in 1801, he was for over twenty years an Anglican clergyman and Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford. His studies of the early Church led him progressively towards Catholicism, and in 1845 he embraced “the one true fold of the Redeemer”. In 1847 he was ordained priest and went on to found the Oratory of St Philip Neri in England. He was a prolific and influential writer on a variety of subjects. In 1879 he was created Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII. Praised for his humility, unstinting care of souls and contributions to the intellectual life of the Church, he died in Birmingham on 11 August 1890.

16 October

St Richard Gwyn

schoolmaster, martyr

Richard Gywn was born at Llandiloes in Montgomeryshire and studied at Oxford and Cambridge. He became a school master in Wales and taught in Wrexham, Bangor on Dee, Gresford, Overton and Erbistock. Although he seems to have briefly conformed to the established religion he was speedily reconciled to the Faith, imprisoned at Ruthin and Denbigh, and also at Bewdley in England, before his final trial and execution at Wrexham in 1584.

  • Common of Pastors: for Bishops
  • Common of Pastors: for Missionaries
  • Common of Holy Men and Women: for Religious
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22 October

Bl. John Paul II

pope

Charles Joseph Wotjtyła was born in 1920 in Wadowice, Poland. After his ordination to the priesthood and theological studies in Rome, he returned to his homeland and resumed various pastoral and academic tasks. He became first auxiliary bishop and, in 1964, Archbishop of Krakow and took part in the Second Vatican Council. On 16 October 1978 he was elected pope and took the name John Paul II. His exceptional apostolic zeal, particularly for families, young people and the sick, led him to numerous pastoral visits throughout the world. Among the many fruits which he has left as a heritage to the Church are above all his rich Magisterium and the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church as well as the Code of Canon Law for the Latin Church and for the Eastern Churches. In Rome on 2 April 2005, the eve of the Second Sunday of Easter (or of Divine Mercy), he departed peacefully in the Lord.

25 October

Six Welsh Martyrs and their companions Feast

November

3 November

St Winefride

virgin

Very little is known for certain about the life of St Winefride, except that she lived in the 6th or 7th century near Treffynon (Holywell) in Clwyd. According to one version of her life, she was beheaded by a prince whose advances she refused, and springs of water sprang up at the place of her martyrdom. She was, however, restored to life by her uncle, St Beuno, and lived the rest of her days as a nun. Her cult has been widespread since the middle ages, centred at Shrewsbury where her remains were enshrined in 1138, and her well at Holywell, which has remained a place of healing and pilgrimage through penal times to the present day.

6 November

St Illtud

abbot

St Illtud, who lived in the sixth century, was converted from a military career to a life of asceticism. He also became a famous teacher. His principal foundation was at Llanilltud Fawr where he not only established an important school but ruled so large a community that it worshipped in relays and soólike that at St Asaph in North Wales, practised the ‘Laus Perennis’. He is also credited with improving agricultural methods in Wales.

8 November

All Saints of Wales feast

14 November

St Dyfrig

St Dyfrig was born in the sixth century in the Wye Valley, where also he was formed in the monastic life. At Moccas he founded a great monastery and rose to considerable influence as abbot and bishop. He is said to have received Illtud to repentance, to have ordained Samson to the priesthood, and to have consecrated Deiniol Bishop of Bangor. He resorted for prayer to Caldey Island and in old age he retired to the Island of Bardsey where he died. Subsequently Bardsey became famous as the island of Saints, and as a place of burial and pilgrimage.

December

10 December

St John Roberts Memorial

St John Roberts was born at Trawsfynnydd in Merioneth in 1576, made profession at the Benedictine Abbey of St martin at Compostela in Spain, and was later founder and first prior of St Gregory’s, Douai. He came several times to England as a missionary and was finally captured in his Mass vestments in 1610. At Tyburn he proclaimed that he taught the same faith as did Augustine, Apostle of the English. He died with Venerable Thomas Somers, a secular priest.