Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Caradoc, Priest and Hermit


He was a Welch nobleman, native of Brecknockshire, who, after he had received a liberal education, enjoyed the confidence of Rees, or Resus, prince of South Wales, and held an honourable place in his court. The prince one day, on account of two greyhounds which were lost, fell into such a fury against Caradoc as to threaten his life. Caradoc, from this disgrace and check, learned the inconstancy and uncertainty of worldly honours, and the best founded hopes, and resolved to dedicate himself altogether to the service of the King of kings, whose promises can never fail, and whose rewards are eternal. Upon the spot he made the sacrifice of himself to God, by a vow of perpetual continency, and of embracing a religious life. Repairing to Landaff, he received from the bishop the clerical tonsure, and for some time served God in the church of Saint Theliau. Being desirous of finding a closer solitude, he afterwards spent some years in a little hut, which he built himself, near an abandoned church of Saint Kined, in the country in which he made his prayer. The reputation of his sanctity filled the whole country, and the archbishop of Menevia, or Saint David’s, calling him to that town, promoted him to priestly orders. The saint hence retired with certain devout companions, to the isle of Ary. Certain pirates from Norway, who often infested these coasts, carried them off prisoners, but, fearing the judgments of God, safely set them on shore again the next day. However, the archbishop of Menevia assigned the saint another habitation in the monastery of Saint Hismael, commonly called Ysam, in the country of Ross, or Pembrokeshire. Henry I., king of England, having subdued the Southern Welch, sent a colony of Flemings into the country of Ross, who drove the old Britons out of their possessions. The saint and his monastery suffered much from the oppressions of these new inhabitants, especially of Richard Tankard, a powerful Englishman among them. This nobleman was, after some time, struck by God with a dangerous illness, and having recourse to Saint Caradoc, was, by his prayers, restored to his health. From this time the saint and his monastery found him a benefactor and protector. Saint Caradoc died on Low-Sunday, the 13th of April, in the year 1124, and was buried with great honour in the church of Saint David’s. We are assured that his tomb was illustrated by miracles, and his body was found whole and incorrupt several years after, when it was translated with great solemnity. See his life, written by Giraldus Cambrensis, the famous bishop of Saint David’s, near his time, extant in Capgrave.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Caradoc, Priest and Hermit”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 15 April 2013. Web. 21 March 2018. <>