Saints of the Day – Cybi of Caenarvon, Abbot

stained glass window of Saint Cybi, date unknown, artist unknown; church porch, Eglwys Beuno Sant Penmorfa, Gwynedd, Wales; photographed on 17 June 2007 by Alan Fryer; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

(also known as Cuby)

6th century. Cuby is one of the few saints of Cornwall who seems to have been born there. He may have been the son of Saint Selevan (Levan) and cousin of Saint David of Wales. Consecrated a bishop, he settled with ten disciples near Tregony.

Place names suggest he was an energetic missionary monk, who visited southeast Wales and made his way by sea up the west coast to Anglesey. Here the prince Maelgwn Gwynedd is said to have given him a ruined Roman fort for his headquarters, where the town of Holyhead now stands; it is still known in Welsh as Caer Gybi, Cybi’s fort. He is the patron saint of Llangibbi (Monmouth) and of Llangybi (Carnarvon).

The existing Life of the saint dates only from the 13th century, and takes him on a fabulous pilgrimage to Jerusalem as well as narrating a long stay with Saint Enda on Aranmore; but there is no reason to suppose that Cuby was ever in Ireland either.

We are told that he was accompanied on Aran by an aged kinsman name Cungar, an elusive saint whose name is found in Wales, Brittany, and Somerset (Congresbury). Matthew Arnold in his poem East and West narrates – but misunderstands – an Anglesey legend about Saint Cybi (Attwater, Benedictines).

MLA Citation

  • Katherine I Rabenstein. Saints of the Day, 1998. CatholicSaints.Info. 11 August 2020. Web. 2 December 2020. <>