28th July


The woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson. The child grew and the Lord blessed him. And the Lord’s power began to strengthen him… Judges 13: 24, 25.

Samson was born about 486 in South Wales. When he was five his parents took him to Illtyd’s famous school at Llantwit major, near Coatbridge, and while still there, in his twenties, he was ordained deacon and priest. God directed him to join the monastery of Piro. From there, somewhat reluctantly, he visited his sick father, who recovered through his prayers. As a result the entire family (with the exception of his youngest sister) devoted themselves to God’s service and planted churches. Samson succeeded Piro as abbot. He went on a mission to Ireland, and on his return sent his brother Umbraphel to be abbot of a monastery given to him in Ireland. While in retreat with his parents near the river Severn he was summoned to a synod and ordained a bishop. This (unlike present ecclesiastical practice) freed him to evangelise and travel widely. He longed to go over to Britanny, but a British Christian prophesied that he was first to evangelise Cornwall. This he did. Once he was in Britanny an amazing number became Christians, and formed Christian communities.For a time Samson was on a mission in Romania. He returned to Britanny, where he died on July 28, and his remains were kept at the great monastery at Dol which he founded.

In truth his humility, courtesy and gentleness, and above all his wonderful love, beyond human measure, so to speak, was such that he was regarded by all the brothers with wonderful affection.
The Life of Samson

We bless you Lord
that Samson’s birth, schooling and calling
were the fruit of prophecy.
We thank you Lord
that his prayer, his heroic acts of witness
his courtesy and wonderful love towards all
won pagans to the Faith
and patterned a new way of being the church.
As we contemplate his life
give us a holy renewal