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Llanthony Abbey

Among the Black Mountains on the Welsh/English border in eastern Wales lies the almost secluded valley of Llanthony. Even today it is a serene and beautiful place, so it is of little wonder that Augustinian Cannons chose to found their community in what was then a wild and lonely place.

Llanthony Abbey

Llanthony is one of just a handful of such places settled by them in Wales; and it was this longing for such lonely places which eventually proved to be their downfall, for the remoteness of their religious places made them susceptible to bandit attack

The Black Mountains were bandit country for they were, as now, the border between England and Wales. It was William de Lacy, who had been caught in a heavy downpour and sheltered there in what was at first a little chapel at Llanthony, that suggested to his lord Hugh de Lacy that he may like to assume the patronage of the little chapel.

When De Lacy gave his patronage to the little church, he endowed it with land and reorganized it as a priory. News of the the priory's hospitality soon became well known throughout the country, within a short period of time it began to enjoy royal patronage.

It is said that in the year 1880 the Virgin Mary visited Capel-y-Ffyn on four occasions. On August 30th at 8.00pm that year a little boy, out playing in a field, saw a woman with a veil over head and face approach him. He said a halo covered her in the shape of an oval. It appeared to bless him, then pass by and enter a bush after which it disappeared.

Again the bush was the subject to another disappearance on September 4th, this time one of the boys out playing in the same field succeeded in summoning Brother Dunston to witness the event.

On September 5th, ' Mary ' again made a brief reappearance in a flickering light.

The final time ' Mary ' appeared was on September 15th, this time Father Ignatius, in charge of the monastic community, witnessed the vision himself. It was however in a thunderous rain storm, and the vision disappeared in the twinkling of an eye.

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