News Item: : Feast of All Saints of Wales
(Category: Torch of The Faith News)
Posted by admin
Sunday 09 November 2008 - 18:21:52

st_asaph_008.jpgIn the local calendar, yesterday was the Feast of All the Saints of Wales. This being the case, we decided to drive over to the ancient city of St. Asaph in the beautiful Llanelwy countryside. We prayed there for the re-conversion of Great Britain back to Jesus Christ and His One, Holy, Apostolic, Catholic Church and also prayed for the dead in the churchyard to gain the indulgence for the souls in purgatory on that last day of the Octave for the Holy Souls.

st_asaph_001.jpgSt. Asaph has a remarkable Catholic history. In 560 A.D. St. Kentigern founded a church nearby on the banks of the River Elwy. When he moved on to Glasgow, he appointed St. Asaph as his successor. The present cathedral was begun in the 13th Century and served as the centre of local Catholic worship until the tragic breach and rupture from the True Faith at the Reformation. In the Victorian era, the famous architect Gilbert Scott was called in to restore and add elements to the edifice. (Our own generation has added its own touch in the form of the outdoor, plastic porta-loos pictured above!).    

st_asaph_004.jpgThe ancient church of St. Kentigern and St. Asaph stands lower down the hill, near the river bank and provides a further example of the Denbighshire double-naved church structure (for another example check out St. Mary's, Rhuddlan which was constructed 700 years ago and appears in an earlier blog post). Indeed, in common with both the cathedral and St. Mary's Rhuddlan, this ancient church was also lost to Catholic worship during the Reformation and it too was given the Gilbert Scott treatment during the Victorian era.

st_asaph_007.jpgBack in the cathedral we were intrigued by this beautiful little ivory statue of the Madonna and Child Jesus behind a glass-fronted wall niche; it is reputed to have been taken as booty off one of the wrecked ships of the Spanish Armada... Perhaps Our Blessed Lady brought the seeds of the True Faith across the seas with her after all, and is just preparing the way for the restoration of Her great dowry!

Another interesting Catholic link is that of the great poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. He studied theology a couple of miles away at Tremeirchion after his conversion and reception into the Catholic Church by Venerable Cardinal John Henry Newman, and before his subsequent ordination as a Jesuit priest.

During his time in the St. Asaph area Hopkins wrote some of his inspiring poems; including God's Grandeur and Spring.  

All Saints of Wales - Pray for Us!

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