ST. ASAPH. BISHOP, C.
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.