Latin: Teliarus, Teliavus
Breton: Teliau, Telo
French: Télo, Théleau
Old Welsh: Eilliau, Eliau
Born: c. 500, Wales
Died: 9 February c. 560, Wales
Saint Teilo was born in the late fifth century, likely in Penally, Pembrokeshire, Wales. He came from a noble family and received a Christian upbringing. He received his early education in Wales, where he studied under Saint Paulinus and Saint David, two other significant Welsh saints.
After completing his education, Teilo embraced the monastic life. He entered the monastic community of Llandaff, located near present-day Cardiff in Wales. There, he dedicated himself to a life of prayer, asceticism, and study.
Saint Teilo’s piety, wisdom, and leadership qualities were widely recognized, leading to his appointment as the Bishop of Llandaff. He became the second bishop of the diocese, succeeding Saint Dubricius. As bishop, he worked diligently to foster the growth of Christianity in the region and to strengthen the Church.
Saint Teilo’s influence extended beyond his role as bishop. He undertook missionary journeys to various parts of Wales, Cornwall, and even Brittany. He preached the Gospel, established monastic communities, and played a crucial role in the spread and consolidation of Christianity in those areas.
Saint Teilo is associated with numerous miracles, which are often depicted in hagiographical accounts. He is said to have healed the sick, cast out demons, and performed other miraculous deeds. Some legends claim that he even raised the dead back to life.
He is believed to have passed away around the year 560. His tomb at Llandeilo Fawr in Carmarthenshire, Wales, became a place of pilgrimage and veneration.
It is said he was a relative, possibly a cousin, and disciple of Saint David, thus making him a member of the royal family of Gwynedd.
In the Life of St. Cadoc, he joins St. David and St. Cadoc in mediating a dispute between Arthur and Ligessauc, in which Arthur agreed to accept payment of 100 cows in return for the deaths of three of his knights at Ligessauc’s hands. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Teilo was a priest from Llandaff who Arthur appointed as the Archbishop of Dol after Samson, the previous archbishop, left the post.