Picking out the forgotten saints from the list of saints for each day, researching them, and featuring them on a blog post, is something I love to do. We can all learn together in this process.
So, one of today's saints is a woman name "Erfyl." Alternate spellings include "Eurfyl" and "Euerfyl." Very little remains of the story of her life, except that she was a "holy virgin who founded the church Llanerfyl in Montgomeryshire, Wales."
The website called Saints of Great Britain and Ireland reports that "400 yards west of the church are the remains of an ancient yew tree and a holy well beneath it." Our saint is buried under an inscribed stone near the remnants of the well.
Llanerfyl is a community that includes a town by the same name. The church was rebuilt in 1870, which is why is looks so lovely and sturdy! There are wide tracts of marshland in that area, and several farms. The village of Llanerfyl itself sits on the river Banw near the sarns Sws Roman Way. Combined with the mention of a "holy well" near the church, a romantic and enticing picture emerges in my imagination. I would love to see it!
At first, I was unable to find a birth year reference for Saint Erfyl, but I did note some records of baptisms in the early 1600's, then I found a page about her on The Self-ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian diocese of North America. It reports that our saint of the day lived in the third century, so it would be no wonder that there is so little information about her, however, other sources point to the sixth century, which seems much more likely.
Notice in the icon of her, above, she is holding a model of a church, the sign that she a foundress. (I apologize for the crookedness of the photo. I could find no other of this particular saint. One day, if I can ever get myself to start painting again, I will try to make one of her.)
I am fond of the female saints who have founded convents and churches. Until very recently, I had thought to start a contemplative convent geared toward accepting nuns that are disabled, but my health has rapidly deteriorated in such a way as to make this dream an unlikely one, barring any miracle with which the Lord decides to bless me! Being both disabled AND poor, it is difficult to accomplish anything. At least I can PRAY, thanks be to God!
I hope all of you have had a joyous and celebratory weekend and that you have experienced gratitude for the great gift of living in this country where, although we do have a large percentage of our population that lives in poverty, we are better off than many other countries of the world, particularly with regard to the African continent, where even clean drinking water cannot be had in numerous villages. Likewise, in China, where the horror of forced abortions and infanticides are brutally thrust upon the families there.
While we do live in a beautiful country where our material standard of living is high, our religious freedoms are under attack from a spiritually bankrupt culture. I ask you all to join with me in prayer for the strengthening of the Christian religion throughout the world, and for the grace of great courage in the face of persecutions which are sure to come.
God bless us all.
Silver "Rose" Parnell
LINKS TO SOURCES:
CATHOLIC SAINTS INFO WEBSITE
CATHOLIC ONLINE WEBSITE
THE SAINTS OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND
A VISION OF BRITAIN THROUGH TIME
THE SELF RULED ANTIOCHIAN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN ARCHDIOCESE OF NORTH AMERICA