St. Teilo of Llandaff
Commemorated February 9/22
If St. David has assumed primacy for the historical Church in Wales in the popular mind, then we must consider St. Teilo of Llandaff to have taken this position in the imaginative Wales of Arthur Machen. More than any Celtic saint, this fifth century bishop appears throughout the author’s bibliography and in a multitude of forms. Most importantly, Teilo is to be found both within the landscape and within the Welsh people themselves. And certainly, he represents a locus of spiritual vitality for both, serving as a father to the Celts of ages past while symboling the promise of a glorious return and restoration in the future.
Currently, an in-depth essay on St. Teilo’s role in Machen’s work is being researched for future inclusion in this series on saintly Visitations.
However, for now, we recommend this excellent article by Dmitry Lapa.
Also, it is useful to study the Life of St. Teilo found in the medieval Book of Llandaff. Not only is such source material valuable on it own merits, but it seems certain that Machen read this vita. Therefore, it provides insight into the writer’s creative process.
The following list highlights the the presence of St. Teilo throughout the writings of Arthur Machen in various forms. His role in each work will be discussed in a future essay.
The Remembrance of the Bard (1907) Poem, first published the Academy, Vol. LXXIII, August 17th.
The Sangraal, Part II (1907) Essay, first published the Academy, Vol. LXXIII, August 14th.
The Sangraal, Part III (1907) Essay, first published the Academy, Vol. LXXIII, August 31st.
Levavi Oculos (1907) Excerpt from The Secret Glory, published the Academy, Vol. LXXIII, September 21st.
The War Song of the Welsh (1914) Short story, first published in the Evening News, November 2nd.
The Angel of Mons (1915) Short story collection. St. Teilo is mentioned in the author’s introduction.
The Great Return (1915) Novella.
The Terror (1917) Novel.
The Secret Glory (1922) Novel.
The Tree of Life (1936) Short story, first published in The Children of the Pool.