OF CADOG, THE WELSH KING

As it says in Matthew: “Whoso forsaketh not all things for my sake is not worthy of me.”

Cadog was the son of Gwenyallyw, king of Gwynllywiog. His father had passed the kingship over to him on his deathbed but Cadog, loving the world of the spirit more than the world of politics, had renounced the title and gone off to a nearby forest to become a hermit.

After some years his successor happened to come that way and sent one of his knights by the name of Illtud to Cadog demanding bread for himself and his many companions. Cadog replied that, as a hermit, he had but little, which would not suffice for so many but, if the king asked for food for God’s sake, he would give all that he had.

Receiving such a reply angered the king and he replied: “Let him send it for my sake, otherwise fire will consume his house, his bread and himself.”

When Cadog heard that message he shook his head sadly. “I should sooner he had the bread than I should be burnt with it, but cursed be they who eat it.”

Illtud returned with the bread and the message. While the food was being distributed he tried to dissuade his fellows from eating it but they just laughed at him and called him a coward for taking the threats of an unarmed hermit so seriously. Nonetheless, nothing they could say would persuade him to share it.

As the king and his followers laughed and ate, the ground started to shake and the earth cracked open and swallowed them up. Only the earth under IItud remained still. When the cataclysm was over, Illtud went to join Cadog and become a hermit as well. In the course of time they both graduated to sainthood.

 

 

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