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March 29

St Gladys - March 29

Saint Gladys (or Gwladys)
Wife, Mother, Hermit
(5th Century – 6th Century)

No Quotes Available for Saint Gladys

Saint Gladys

Her Early Years

Gladys (also known as Gwaladys, Gwladys, Gladusa or Claudia) was born in the 5th century in Wales to Irish immigrant King Saint Brychan of Brecknock. She was the eldest of her 23 brothers and sisters. Gladys was raised at the Royal & Christian Court at Talgarth, where she grew into a beautiful young woman. Before long, she came to the notice of some of the most eligible bachelors around, including King Saint Byrchan’s menacing neighbour, King Gwynllyw.

Abducted by Her Future Husband

King Gwynllyw sent envoys to King Saint Brychan requesting the hand of his daughter in marriage. However, King Saint Brychan sent them away. At the this time, King Gwynllyw was a rough pagan warrior King, quite unsuitable for his delicate offspring. However, King Gwynllyw was not so easily put off and decided he would take his prize by force. With three hundred men to help him, he made a daring raid on Brycheiniog and made off with Princess Gladys. Her father, King Brychan pursued him but the two were accosted by their High-King, Arthur. Struck by the lady’s beauty, King Arthur was, at first, tempted to take her for himself but his fellows persuaded him to support King Gwynllyw’s cause and Brychan was eventually brought round. So, began Gladys married life with the violent King Gwynllyw as bandits on the run.

Mother of Saint Cadoc

At some point, Gladys became the mother of Saint Cadoc, Saint Gluvias and possibly Kenya. Glady’s husband had a reputation as a fierce, brutal, and merciless warrior. Supposedly, King Gwynllyw was “very partial to thieves, and used to instigate them somewhat often to robberies.”

Indeed to celebrate his eldest son Cadoc’s birth, King Gwynllyw decided to celebrate by slaughtering a cow . Someone else’s cow. So he conducted a raid and took what he wanted. The monk Saint Tatheus came and confronted him, telling him to give back the stolen property.

The monk’s boldness and bravery impressed the king, and so King Gwynllyw entrusted Saint Cadoc to him for his education (lacking schools, this was common back then).


Through Cadoc’s Christian education, he persuaded Gladys and King Gwynllyw to amend their ways. Thanks to both Saint Cadoc and Gladys’ influence, King Saint Gwynllyw abandoned his violent ways. Shortly after repenting of his bellicose past, he had a dream that an angel showed him a white ox with a black spot on its forehead. Sometime later, he saw the same ox and decided to leave the world by retiring to a hermitage built on that very spot.

The place to which King Gwynllyw retired is now called Stow Hill (Newport, Wales) near the River Usk where there is an ancient church dedicated to Saint Woolos. At first Gladys accompanied him, but, in order to not violate the vow of chastity both had taken, she later chose a place not far away on the banks of the Ebbw River.

After their conversion Gladys and Gwynllyw lived an austere life of penance. It included the rather interesting practice throughout the year of taking a nightly baths in the Usk River, followed by a mile-long walk in the nude. Saint Cadoc forced them to separate themselves even more completely so as to completely remove temptation. As a result Gwladys headed north of present-day Newport for a “mountain of solitude” in Bassaleg, where she built a church in honor of the Virgin.

It is reported that Gladys followed a religious calling and became a nun at Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales. Late in life, she became a hermitess in rural Wales.

Her Death

Gladys’ exact date and where she died is not known, although it is thought that both she and Saint Gwynllyw died between 500 and 523 in Wales. The Celtic cross slab found at Gelligaer, Wales is thought to be her memorial and can now be seen in Gelligaer parish Church.

Born :                  5th Century exact date unknown in Wales (most likely Brycheinoig)

Died:                    Around 500-523 in Wales

Beatified:            Pre-Congregation

Canonized:         Pre-Congregation

Feast Day:           March 29

Patron Saint:      Gelligaer, Wales; Newport, Wales



Saint Gladys lived during a time of great turmoil in Wales, with political upheaval and conflicts between kingdoms. Her married life did not start out very saintly since King Saint Gwynllyw abducted her and they lived as bandits on the run. However, God brought her a son, Cadoc, who persuaded Gladys and her husband to repent and change their ways, which they did. Gladys went on to live an austere live of penance praying and fasting. We may not all start out our lifes saintly, but there is always time to repent and turn back to the Lord.

Do you know anyone whom you could help persuade to repent and change their ways? Or do you need to repent and change your ways? It is never to late to ask for God’s forgiveness.


Saint Gladys,

You who started out your married life with a sinner were able to turn it around, we humbly ask for your powerful intercession.

Pray for all who are married to a wicked spouse that they may find solace and healing in God’s infinite love.

May your example encourage and inspire us that we can always repent and return to God, maybe even as you did, with your spouse.

May God have mercy on us and bring comfort to all who call upon you.

Saint Gladys, pray for us. Amen.

Saint Links 

Aleteia – Saint of the Day: St. Gladys

Catholic Online – St. Gladys

CatholicSaints.Info – Saints of the Day – Saint Justina of Padua – by Katherine I Rabenstein

Celtic Saints – St. Gwaladys, Hermit

Independent Catholic News – St Gwynllyw and Gwladys

Melanie Rigney – Gwladys of Wales

Video Link

Saint Gladys | Voice of Saints | March 29 – YouTube (Saints Fans Association)