St David, Patron Saint of Wales

StDavids Cathedral, Wales patron Saint

   

St David of Wales or Dewi Sant, was a saint of the Celtic Church. He was the son of Sandde, Prince of Powys,and Non, daughter of a Chieftain of Menevia whose lands included the peninsula on which the little cathedral town of St David's now stands. St David is thought to have been born near the present town of St David's. The ruins of a small chapel dedicated to his mother, Non,  may be seen near St. David's Cathedral

David became the Abbot of  St David's and died on 1st March 589. A.D. An account of his life was written towards the end of the 11th century by Rhygyfarch, a monk at Llanbadarn Fawr near Aberystwyth.  Many miracles were attributed to him. One miracle often recounted is that once when Dewi was preaching to a crowd at Llandewi Brefi those on the outer edges could not hear, so he spread a handkerchief on the ground, and stood on it to preach, whereupon the ground rose  upbeneath him, and all could hear.

He was buried in what is today St David's Cathedral in Pembrokeshire. His holiness was such that medieval pilgrims equated two pilgrimages to St David's were worth one pilgrimage to Rome - a great saving in journeying at that time! Fifty churches in South Wales alone bear his name.

March 1st , St David's Day, is now the traditional day of the Welsh.  March 1 is the date given by Rhygyfarch for the death of Dewi Sant, was celebrated as a religious festival up until the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. In the 18th century it
became a national festival among the Welsh, and continues as such to this day.

The celebration usually means singing and eating.  St. David's Day meetings in Wales are not the boisterous celebrations of that accompany say St Patrick's Day in Ireland, but that may be because Welsh nationalism is kept in check.The singing of traditional songs followed by a Te Bach, tea with teisen bach and bara brith. Y Ddraig Goch, the Red Dragon, is flown as a flag or worn as a pin or pendant, and leeks are worn, and sometimes eaten.  St David's Day is now celebrated by Welsh people all over the world.

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Land of St David - Wales