Menology of England and Wales – Saint Asaph, Bishop, Confessor, c.600

detail of a stained glass window of Saint Asaph, Shrigley and Hunt, 1909; Thomas Becket chapel, Cathedral of Saint David, Pembrokeshire, Wales; photographed on 21 July 2011 by Wolfgang Sauber; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

When Saint Kentigern was driven from his See of Glasgow, he took refuge at Llan-Elwy, in North Wales, where he established a very large and fervent community of monks. Asaph was one of his most eminent disciples. When yet a boy, so perfect was his obedience, that at his master’s bidding he filled the skirt of his tunic with burning wood from the furnace, without harm to himself or the dress he wore. Such was his beginning in the religious life, and as time went on he grew in sanctity, and became a model of what the monastic spirit should produce. When Saint Kentigern was recalled to his own See, with the glad consent of the community, he named Asaph his successor in the monastery, and, moreover, consecrated him Bishop, to preside over the Christian flock in that region. Saint Asaph was a zealous preacher, and also wrote certain canons or ordinances for the government of his church, and, as it is said, a life of his beloved master, Saint Kentigern. The love of his people for the Saint is shown by the change of the name Llan-Elwy into Saint Asaph, and the dedication to him of various churches in the neighbourhood, as well as the naming of hamlets.

Saint Asaph is called the first Bishop of that See, but several centuries elapsed before a successor was appointed. In the modern English Calendar he is commemorated on the day of his deposition; and in Saint Asaph, by a Rescript of Pope Pius IX, the Sunday following is observed as a double of the second class.

MLA Citation

  • Father Richard Stanton. “Saint Asaph, Bishop, Confessor, c.600”. Menology of England and Wales, 1887. CatholicSaints.Info. 20 April 2015. Web. 21 January 2019. <>