Padarn, or Paternus, is celebrated in the Trioedd Ynys Prydein as one of “three benignant guests” (or “three blessed visitors”) of the Island of Britain, along with saints David (Dafydd) and Teilo:
“they went as guests into the houses of the nobles, the yeomen, the native and the bondman, without accepting either gift or reward, food or drink; but they taught the faith in Christ to everyone without pay, or thanks, and to the poor and the destitute, they gave of their gold and their silver, their clothes and their provisions.”
Padarn is principally known as the founder of Llanbadarn Fawr in Dyfed (now in southwestern Wales), of which he was both abbot and bishop for twenty years and from which he evangelized the neighboring countryside. He seems to have been more closely associated with late Romano-British civilization than some other early British saints, as his dedications are connected by Roman roads, suggesting that his missionary work preceded that of David and Teilo, with whom he is closely associated in a legendary pilgrimage to Jerusalem in which the three are honored by the Patriarch of the Church in the Holy City.
His feast day was April 15 in the pre-Reformation British Church, and he is commemorated on this date by the Anglican Church in Wales.
- Prepared from material from The Oxford Dictionary of Saints and Celebrating the Saints. The quotation from the Trioedd Ynys Prydein is from Iolo Morganwg’s compilation and William Probert’s translation.
Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Padarn, whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of Dyfed. Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom, that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.