Su,-As a convert to the Faith and one born and bred in Wales, I was deeply interested in the article "How These Sons of the Romans Have Strayed." Mr. Edwards rightly emphasises the
"Romanitas" of the Welsh people--a fact which must be pointed out to
those non-Catholics who maintain that the Church of St, David and St. Ityd was independent of Rome.
The non-Catholic scholar, the Rev. A. W. Wade-Evans, in a recent article published in the Western Mail wrote as follows: "With the English, as among other Frisian speakers, the term Welsh signified Romans. This calls for interpretation. It cannot be that the Welsh were Romans by race, but it is certain they were Romans by subjection. It is also certain that in the collapse of the Roman Empire they were 'staunch Conservatives.' they stood for R o rn an itas or Romanity-which is a serviceable word used by the Christian writer Tertullian to signify the Roman point of view. Now with Romanitas went Christianity, the 'official' religion of the empire. . ." An impartial study of Welsh history reveals quite clearly that the Ancient British Church was one with the Catholic Church throughout the then known world, and the Pope was acknowledged as the successor of St. Peter-the visible Head of the Church on earth. For centuries the people of Wales clung tenaciously to the Catholic Faith. An Anglican clergyman, the late Dr. Hartwell Jones, in his well-known work "Celtic Britain and the Pilgrim Movement," wrote: "From the second century to the sixteenth, Wales adhered to the Old Faith as rigidly as Italy and Spain in the nineteenth."
The Protestant Reformation was very unpopular in Wales, and for generations the Welsh people referred to the new faith as "the faith of the English." A Welsh writer, W. Llywelyn Williams, in his article "Welsh Catholics on the Continent," published in the "Cymmrodor" in 1901, states : "It is a commonplace of history that the Reformation was not welcomed in Wales. Chapuys, the Imperial Ambassador at the Court of Henry VIII, constantly refers to the Principality as being passionately loyal to the old Faith, and Catholic plotters for two generations invariably took into account in estimating their chances of success, the unswerving devotion of Welshmen to the See of Rome. Relics of ancient Catholic practices and beliefs have survived to our own day."
During this Marian Year it is appropriate to bear in mind that de votion to Our Lady was so deeply rooted in the hearts of the Welsh people that it survived the onslaughts of the Reformation. Thus the prayer "Buchedd Mair" ("Mary's Dream") was recited by non-Catholics in cer tain parts of Wales at the beginning of the nineteenth century. May I take this opportunity to appeal to my fellow-Catholics in Britain and Ire land to pray to Our Lady for the return of the Welsh people to the
ancient Faith of their fathers? May Our Lady of Penrhys lead her Welsh children back to the One Fold of her Divine Son. ne-rtram C. Wilson
5 North Street, Dowlais, Glamorgan.