Reference > Rev. Alban Butler > Lives of the Saints > May
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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume V: May.
The Lives of the Saints.  1866.
 
May 1
St. Asaph, Bishop and Confessor
 
ST. KENTIGERN, bishop of Glasgow, in Scotland, being driven from his own see, founded a monastery and episcopal chair on the banks of the river Elwy, in North Wales. Bishop Usher writes, from John of Tinmouth, that, in this abbey, nine hundred and sixty-five monks served God in great continence. Three hundred who were illiterate, this holy abbot appointed to till the ground, and take care of the cattle: other three hundred to do necessary work within the monastery; and three hundred and sixty-five he deputed to celebrate the divine office. These last never went out of the monastery, unless upon some urgent necessity, but attended continually in God’s sanctuary, being divided into companies, one of which began the divine office in the choir as another had finished it, and went out, as among the Acæmetes, at Constantinople: by this means the divine praises suffered no interruption in the church. Among these monks St. Asaph shone as a bright light, most illustrious for his birth, virtues, and miracles. When St. Kentigern was called back to Glasgow, he appointed St. Asaph, the most distinguished for learning and piety among his disciples, abbot and bishop at Llan-Elwy. Our saint was a diligent preacher, and had frequently this saying in his mouth: “They who withstand the preaching of God’s word, envy the salvation of men.” St. Asaph wrote certain canons or ordinances of his church, the life of St. Kentigern, and some other works. He died about the close of the sixth century; for he flourished about the year 590. From him the see of Elwy took the name of St. Asaph’s: though it continued long vacant; for we find no mention of any other bishop of St. Asaph’s before the twelfth century, when Geoffrey of Monmouth was advanced to that episcopal chair.—Wharton gives him a predecessor named Gilbert. See Le Neve’s Fasti, p. 20; Dr. Brown Willis, and principally Leland de Script. Angl.  1
 
 
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