St. Amphibalus was originally an anonymous character in the legend of St. Alban. Alban had noticed the piety and devotion of this Christian priest, and gradually been converted by it into becoming a Christian himself. Alban concealed the priest in his home when a local prince was seeking him out during a persecution of Christians. Learning that the priest was in Alban’s home, the prince sent solders to search him out. Alban took the cloak (amphibalus) of the priest, robbed himself in it, and presented himself to the soldiers as the priest, allowing the true priest to escape.
Later accounts tell how the priest, now named Amphibalus from his cloak, himself converted others, including St. Stephanus and St. Socrates, was captured in Wales, and martyred in Verulam (St. Albans). Remains identified as belonging to Amphibalus were discovered at Redbourn in Hertfordshire, England, near the town of St Albans, in 1178, and placed in the Abbey Church.
Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Historia regum Britanniae and derived works mention the Church of St. Amphibalus in Winchester where King Constantine’s eldest son Constans served as a monk and where one of Mordred’s sons hid until he was found by a later King Constantine and was killed. In Lawman’s Brut this son is named Meleon.
Some Name VariationsEdit
LATIN: Amphibalus; FRENCH: Aufibal; ENGLISH: Anfibales; WELSH: Amffibalys, Amffidalys.