Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Dubricius, Bishop and Confessor


How great soever the corruption of vice was which had sunk deep into the hearts of many in the degenerate ages of the ancient Britons before the invasion of the English Saxons, God raised amongst them many eminent saints, who, by their zealous exhortations and example, invited their countrymen by penance to avert the divine wrath which was kindled over their heads. One of the most illustrious fathers and instructors of these saints was Saint Dubricius, who flourished chiefly in that part which is now called South-Wales. He erected two great schools of sacred literature at Hentlan and Mochrhes, both places, situate upon the river Wye or Vaga, which waters Brecknockshire, Radnorshire and Monmouthshire. In this place Saint Samson, Saint Theliau, and many other eminent saints and pastors of God’s church, were formed to virtue and the sacred ministry under the discipline of Saint Dubricius; and persons of all ranks and conditions resorting to him from every part of Britain, he had a thousand scholars with him for years together. It was this great master’s first study, to cultivate well his own soul, and to learn the interior sentiments of all virtues by listening much to the Holy Ghost in close solitude and holy meditation on divine things. He was consecrated the first archbishop of Llandaff, by Saint Germanus, in a synod about the year 444, and was afterwards constituted archbishop of Cærleon, which dignity he resigned to Saint David in the synod of Brevi in 522. After this, Saint Dubricius retired into the solitary island of Bardsey or Euly, on the coast of Cærnarvonshire, where he died and was buried: twenty thousand saints (that is, holy hermits and religious persons) are said in Camden and others to have been interred in that island. The bones of Saint Dubricius were afterwards removed to Llandaff. See Alford’s Annals, Leland’s Itinerary, and Saint Dubricius’s life, written, as some maintain, by Saint Theliau’s own hand, in the Llandaff register. Also his life compiled by Benedict, a monk of Gloucester, in 1120, in Wharton’s Anglia Sacra.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Dubricius, Bishop and Confessor”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 14 November 2013. Web. 21 January 2019. <>