7th January

A School for Christ

The teachings of the wise are a fountain of life; they will help you escape when your life is in danger.
Proverbs 13: 14

Illtyd had been living the life of a hermit for some three months when a stag burst in, quickly followed by pack of hounds, the King and his hunt. When the King realised it was Illtyd he erupted in fury and accused Illtyd of betraying him. Illtyd, like Cadoc, simply smiled and invited them into the hut for a meal. Astonishingly, the stag which the hounds had been pursuing lay down outside, together with the hounds! At the end of the meal it was the King’s turn to have his heart changed, and he asked Illtyd’s forgiveness. Then the King asked if he could send his son to Illtyd to be educated. That marked the beginning of a miracle in Christian education. Soon Illtyd’s place in the valley by the sea became the largest school in the whole of Britain, a school for Christ, and Illtyd became known as the wisest teacher in Britain.

destroy Illtyd’s work. The King’s henchmen, who secretly honoured Illtyd, warned him that he was to be murdered. Illtyd took this as God guiding him to go back to being an anonymous hermit. So he secretly trekked to a cave further along the coast, and grew a beard and long hair so no one would recognise him. However, a year later a monk was travelling from the old monastery to a new monastery David had founded, with a brass bell which was a gift for David. He took a wrong turning and passed near Illtyd’s cave. Illtyd heard the bell, came out, and struck it three times. The monk did not recognise his former leader, but strangely, the bell stopped ringing. The monk told David about this on his arrival. ‘God has told us where our dear Illtyd is hiding’, said David, and sent the monk to invite him to join him. Illtud declined the invitation to go back into a large community, but three of David’s monks went to support him and care for him until he died.

Lord, unlock the treasures of wisdom to me
but first give me a heart for humble learning