Twenty Thousand Saints

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182,481,182 stock photos, vectors and videos

He moved to Padua, and after Francis' death he became one of the heads of the Franciscan order. He is said to be the most venerated saint in the world. In iconography, he is always depicted with a lily, the symbol of purity, or with the Bible, symbolising his profound religious culture. He is the patron saint of travellers, the poor and the oppressed.

He arrived in Padua on 13 June to venerate the Saint, having walked from Assisi. His order's rules in fact forbid the handling of money and they allow to travel only on foot unless a lift is offered by a fellow traveller. Saint Verdiana Born to a noble yet somewhat impoverished Tuscan family, after completing the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, she was admitted into the third Franciscan order by Francis of Assisi himself.

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Verdiana consacrated her life to the solitude of prayer: she lived in reclusion and isolation for 34 years until she died in her cell on the banks of the river Elsa. Devouts of the Saint Verdiana Centuria on occasion of the religious festival consecrated to the Saint which takes place in Castelfiorentino every year on 1 February.

Saint Gemma Galgani Raised in a bourgeois family fallen into disgrace, she tried to enter various monasteries without ever succeeding. She then fell ill with meningitis and started living mystical experiences during which, according to devotional tradition, she sweated blood whilst being crowned in thorns, flagellated, derided and insulted by the demon.

According to her testimony, she received stigmata on 8 June ; this was questioned however by her own confessor. Saint Gemma devout at the Lucca sanctuary. Born to a rich Sicilian family, she converted to Christianity. The island's Roman Proconsul, enamoured with the girl, tried to make her abjure by assigning her to the care of a brothel keeper.

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Twenty Thousand Saints is set on Ynys Enlli/Bardsey Island and tells the story of an intense summer on Bardsey, with flashbacks to the earlier lives of island. Review: Twenty Thousand Saints by Fflur DafyddDafydd controls her troupe of players without once dipping into farce.

Okay, I hear you ask, so what? Nothing special there, but now it gets interesting. Twenty thousand on a tiny island no more than two kilometres square. First of all, by some extraordinary gift of nature, the environment is fantastically beneficial to good health and old age and it was recognised that on this island, the old died first.

This island, either from the healthiness of its climate, or rather from some miracle and the merits of the Saints, has this wonderful peculiarity that the oldest people die first, because diseases are uncommon, and scarcely any die except from extreme old age. This is quite a claim, considering the harsh environment, and disease ridden culture of the last two thousand years. Throughout Celtic mythology, there are references to a fabled glass house where devotees grew apples for the gods.

Twenty thousand saints

It is now believed that the early monastery boasted exactly that, a glass house attached to the building providing a haven against the harsh Atlantic weather. It is also recorded that he was mortally wounded by Mordred in the battle of Camlann, commonly thought to have taken place in North Wales. The strategic position of the isle in the Irish Sea lends it well to witnessing large arrivals of migrating birds in spring and autumn, whilst its rocky coast becomes a bustle of thousands of breeding seabirds during the summer.

182,481,182 stock photos, vectors and videos

Ben Porter has grown up on this remote island with his family from the age of His upbringing on Bardsey inspired a love of the natural world and his development into an award-winning photographer. Ben recently graduated from a degree in Conservation Biology with the University of Exeter, and is currently working on a landscape-scale restoration project in mid Wales.

To view the images as a slideshow, click on the arrows in the top right hand corner of the photos below.

The low tide haul-outs of grey seals can exceed in number during the year. This bull seal chose an interesting spot to see out a particularly stormy day: amongst a growing mound of sea foam! In the crystal-clear waters that often predominate during summertime, snorkelling can reveal a myriad of creatures to marvel at, such as the snakelocks anemone.

The canary-shouldered thorn is amongst the brightest of visitors to the autumn traps.

Being sited at a strategic point to intercept migrating birds, Bardsey receives its fair share of scarce and rare visitors too. Firecrests are a regular occurrence, particularly during autumn migration. The seas surrounding the island are infamous for their treacherous nature.