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The pilgrimage of parishioners of the Interce…

The pilgrimage of parishioners of the Intercession Church in Manchester to the source of St. Seiriol of Penmon in Wales

On Saturday, August 7, 2021, with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Matthew of Sourozh, parishioners of the Church of the Intercession of the Most Holy Mother of God in Manchester made a pilgrimage to the holy spring of the Venerable Seiriol of Penmon, Welsh (VI century), located in the town of Penmon, Anglesey in Wales.  The pilgrimage began with a communal prayer at the Divine Liturgy, which was celebrated by Priest Anatoly Vikhrov in the Intercession Church.

Upon arrival to Penmon, Father Anatoly and the parishioners of the Manchester church visited the ruins of the monastery, originally founded by St.  Seiriol and St. Cybi of Wales in the 6th century, and the priory church of St.  Seiriol, built later, in 1140.  Pilgrims prayed at the holy spring of St. Seiriol, located next to the former monastery, the water of which St. Seiriol and the monastic brethren used for drinking and the Sacrament of Baptism. 

After the small consecration of the water, Father Anatoly sprinkled all those present with holy water and addressed the pilgrims with a word of spiritual edification.

***

St. Seiriol, Abbot of Penmon, Welsh, was born in about 494 and was a member of the Gwynedd royal family: son of King Owain Darwyn and brother of King Cynlas in Rhos in northern Wales, as well as brother of King  Einion in Llŷn, a peninsula in northwest Wales).

For a long time St. Seiriol lived as a hermit in a cell located in Penmon, on the east side of Anglesey.  In his well, he baptized those who turned to Christ (both the cell and the well have survived to this day.) According to a legend, once a week he went to meet with his friend St. Cybi, who lived under the Roman walls in Holyhead in the west of the island, and they went around Anglesey with prayer.  The saints met and parted in the center of the island. Cybi would go east in the morning, and returned to the west in the evening, and thus he was all the time turned towards the sun, that's why he was called Cybi the Tanned, because his face was always tanned;  Seiriol, walking in the opposite direction, was all the time turned to the sun with his back, and he was called Seiriol the Fair.

The disciples of St. Seiriol built a monastery near Pienmont, which was ruled by the Saint.  It subsequently became the famous insular monastic center of Wales and flourished until 971 when it was ravaged by the Vikings.

At the end of his life, Seiriol retired to an islet now called Ynys Lannog (now Ynis Seiriol) near Anglesey, where he lived in the desert and founded a small monastery.  He died peacefully at a ripe old age.
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