Nov 8: The feast of Saint Tysilio

I wanted to mention that November 8 was the feast of Saint Tysilio (or Suliau), Abbot of Meifod. He lived in the 7th Century, or thereabouts, and ended up in Brittany, near Saint-Malo. That’s about all I know about him. However, I encoutered his name many years ago, although I was not aware of it at the time.

You see, there’s a tiny town in Wales by the name of Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, which means “The Church of Mary of White Hazel Pool.” In the 19th century, a church was built there, called the church of Tysilio, or, in welsh, Llantysilio. After the church was built, the name of the town was changed to reflect this. The new name of the town is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, making it the longest place name in the world. The bit that was added means “quite near the rapid whirlpool, the church of Tysilio under a red cave.” (Yes, those 4 Ls in a row are correct.)

I remember an entry in the Guiness Book of World Records, showing the railroad station sign for this town, and also showing the railroad tickets for this town, which were printed an extra-large size.

The Oxford Companion to the Year, where I learned that yesterday was Saint Tysilio’s feast, notes that there’s also a smal gift ship nearby called Ysiopfachgardiauwrthybontdrosyrafonddyfrdwyynllangollen, which means “The little card shop by the bridge over the river Dee in Llangollen.”