Everybody has heard of Saint Patrick, but today I want to talk about another Celtic saint. March 1 is the feast day of St. David, the patron saint of Wales and also of doves. Also known as Dewi Sant in Welsh, he was born in Caerfai in Pembrokshire, Wales to Sant, a prince of Cardigan, and St Non, the daughter of a chieftain in around 500 AD. He has been patron saint of Wales since the 12th century – he was canonized by Pope Callixtus in 1120. Of all the patron saints of the British Isles (Patrick, George, Andrew, and him), he is the only one born in the country he is now a saint of.
In his time, he founded twelve monasteries, which were known for their extreme aestheticism. His most famous miracle was when he was preaching to a large crowd at the Synod of Brefi and raised the ground beneath him into a hill so his sermon could be heard by all.
Many Welsh people wear one or both of the National symbols of Wales to celebrate St. David: the daffodil (a generic Welsh symbol) or the leek (Saint David’s personal symbol) on this day. The leek arises from an occasion when a troop of Welsh were able to distinguish each other from a troop of English enemy dressed in similar fashion by wearing leeks. The younger girls sometimes wear traditional Welsh costumes to school. This costume consists of a long woolen skirt, white blouse, woolens shawl and a Welsh hat.
St David is thought to have died on March 1, 589. During his last sermon, his words to his followers were: “Be joyful and keep your faith and your creed. Do the little things that you have seen me do and heard about. I will walk the path that our fathers have trod before us.”
So Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus, or Happy Saint David’s Day!
Quotes about Wales
It profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world… but for Wales!–Robert Bolt
I carry Wales around inside me. I’d consider moving back there one day. I never really left.–Tom Jones
I’ve always felt very proud of Wales and being Welsh. People are a bit surprised when I say I’m Welsh. I was born in Wales, went to school in Wales and my mother was Welsh. I’m Welsh. It’s my place of birth, my country.–John Prescott
In Wales, it’s eight different weathers in a day.–Piper Perabo
To live in Wales is to be conscious at dusk of the spilled blood that went into the making of the wild sky–R. S. Thomas
I don’t know how you get dressed if you live in Wales, because it’s pouring rain and then it’s hot sunshine, and then it might hail. It’s just so confusing.–Piper Perabo
I really see myself as a homegirl. Wales is my first home.–Katherine Jenkins
I would like to go back to Wales. I’m obsessed with my childhood and at least three times a week dream I am back there.–Anthony Hopkins
“Do you miss Wales?” Tessa inquired. Will shrugged lightly. “What’s to miss? Sheep and singing,” he said.–Cassandra Clare
I maintain that when I finally retire from my career in music, I will go and live back in Wales … I miss the simple life.–Ellie Goulding
The Bristol Channel was always my guide, and I was always able to draw an imaginary line from my bed to our house over in Wales. It was a great comfort.–Roald Dahl
Lovely the woods, waters, meadows, combes, vales,
All the air things wear that build this world of Wales.
–Gerard Manley Hopkins
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