Paul Aurelian

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Saint Paul Aurelian
The stole of Paul Aurelian
Born Glamorgan, Wales
Died 6th century
Island Batz
Venerated in Anglican Communion; Roman Catholic Church
Major shrine Fleury
Feast March 12

Paul Aurelian (known in Breton as Paol Aorelian or Saint Pol de Léon and in Latin as Paulinus Aurelianus) was a 6th-century Welshman who became first bishop of the See of Léon and one of the seven founder saints of Brittany. Paul Aurelian was held to have died in 575 at the age of 140 years, after having been assisted in his labours by three successive coadjutors, which suggests several Pauls have been mixed up. Gilbert Hunter Doble thought he might be the same man as Saint Paulinus of Wales.


According to his hagiographic Life, completed in 884 by a Breton monk named Wrmonoc of Landévennec Abbey, Paul was the son of a Welsh chieftain named Perphirius/Porphyrius ("clad in purple"), from Penychen in Glamorgan. He has later been given three saintly sister-martyrs; Juthwara, Sidwell and Wulvela.

In the Life of Cadoc that contemporary princely founder of Llancarfan is reckoned the son of Gwynllyw, eponymous founder of the cantref of Gwynllwg and the son of Glywys. High mediaeval sources give Gwynllyw a brother "Pawl", who is chief of neighbouring Penychen.


File:Thegonnec - St Pol.jpg
St Pol, as represented in the parish church of Saint-Thegonnec, Brittany.

Paul became a pupil of Saint Illtud at Llantwit Major and on Caldey Island with Samson of Dol and Gildas.

He went to Brittany, establishing monasteries in Finistère at Ouessant on the north-west coast of Brittany, at Lampaul on the island of Ushant, on the island of Batz and at Ocsimor, now the city of Saint-Pol-de-Léon, where he is said to have founded a monastery in an abandoned fort. He was consecrated bishop there under the authority of Childebert, King of the Franks.

Paul was a vegetarian.[1] One account says he died on the island of Batz. He was first buried at Saint-Pol-de-Léon, but his relics were later transferred to Fleury Abbey. His bell is still kept at Saint-Pol. His feast day is 12 March.

Paulinus of Wales

For other saints named Paulinus, see Saint Paulinus.

G. H. Doble thought Saint Paul Aurelian might be the same as Saint Paulinus of Wales,[2] revered in Carmarthenshire, south-west Wales as a hermit and teacher at a place usually identified as Whitland (or Hendy Gwyn ar Daf). Hywel David Emanuel considered the identification of Paul Aurelian with the Carmarthenshire Paulinus as doubtful.[3]

In Rhygyfarch's ‘ Life of S. David ’ (chapter x), Saint David is stated to have completed his education under S. Paulinus ( Paulens ), who is described as a "scribe, a disciple of S. Germanus the bishop". When Paulinus became blind, David is said to have miraculously restored his sight.[3]

Paulinus of Wales founded churches and chapels around Llandovery. He is said to have taught Saint Teilo and to have nominated David to speak at the Synod of Llanddewi Brefi (in around 545). Claims to the foundation of the church at Paul are dubious.

A 6th century inscribed stone found at Caeo in Carmarthenshire, now in the Carmarthen Museum, appears to honour him as "preserver of the faith, constant lover of his country, champion of righteousness". His feast day is 23 November (DWB suggests "probably" 22 November).[3]

See also


  1. Roberts, Holly Harlayne (2004-09-01). Vegetarian Christian Saints: Mystics, Ascetics & Monks. New York: Anjeli Press. p. 182. ISBN 978-0-9754844-0-1. Retrieved 2010-12-09. Lay summary. He maintained his staple diet of simple vegetarian foods, bread and water<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. G. H. Doble (1971), Lives of the Welsh Saints
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Emanuel, Hywel David. "Paulinus", Welsh Biography Online, National Library of Wales


cy:Peulin es:Paulino de Gales ru:Павлин Валлийский