St Melangell

Santes o’r 7fed ganrif oedd Melangell. Yn ôl traddodiad, daeth yma o Iwerddon ac yr oedd yn byw fel meudwyes yn y dyffryn. Ar ôl ei marwolaeth, parhawyd i anrhydeddu ei choffadwriaeth, a bu Pennant Melangell yn fan pererindod am ganrifoedd lawer. Mae Melangell yn parhau i fod yn nawddsant ysgyfarnogod.

 

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Roedd yr eglwys yn gyrchfan boblogaidd i bererinion yn y Canol Oesoedd, ac yn ddiweddar mae’r cyngor sir wedi creu llwybr “Pererindod Melangell” yn arwain yno. Mae Melangell yn nawddsant ysgyfarnogod.

St Melangell inspires us to mercy, compassion, and kindness to all sentient beings, and her spirituality is a wonderful compliment to the Franciscan Charism.

Diolch yn fawr iawn i Gillian Smith, manager of Llangollen Museum and roving archaeologist, for sharing with me wonderful information and exquisite photographs about a favorite saint and a favorite place


Melangell was a female saint of the 7th century. According to tradition she came to Powys from Ireland, a daughter of royalty who left her homeland to live as a religious hermit in the valley.

One day Brochwel, Prince of Powys, was hunting and pursued a hare which took refuge under Melangell’s cloak. The Prince’s hounds fled, and he was moved by her courage and sanctity. He granted her the valley as a place of consecration and sanctuary, a cloister of the natural environment. Melangell built and developed a small religious community of women, of which she was Abbess.

Her sainthood continues to be honoured to this day, with devotees to her cult seeking out the holy sites in the hillsides and slopes upon which she prayed, sheltered, worked, and worshiped.  Indeed, Pennant Melangell has been a place of pilgrimage for over a thousand years; and people of all faiths and none are welcome.

Melangell fills the role of the patron saint of hares. And unofficially of vegetarians.

Gillian writes, “Within St Melangell’s Church, above the screen, is the bronze figure of the risen Christ with arms outstretched, symbolising the Redemptive Jesus, welcoming in the broken, the suffering, the fearful and the lost and all who seek the healing love of God in their lives.”

Most of the lore we have about St Melangell is from the recordings of the Welsh antiquarian Thomas Pennant (1726-1798).

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