Who Was St. David? Why Is He So Important To The Welsh?

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1st March is Saint David’s Day. Saint David is the patron saint of Wales and all over Wales, on 1st March, Welsh people celebrate his life.

Here are some facts about Saint David and his life: 

• Saint David, also known as Dewi Sant, is the Patron Saint of Wales.

• Dewi Sant was a Celtic Monk, an Abbott and a Bishop back in the 6th Century. During this time he was also Archbishop of Wales.

• Dewi was believed to have been of Royal Bloodline. His father (Sant) was the son of Ceredig (Prince of Ceridigion) and his mother Non and was believed to be the niece of King Arthur.

• Dewi was born near Capel Non in West Wales near the present city of Saint David.

• He was educated in Hen Fynyw Monastery, where he stayed before moving on with a party of followers on his missionary travels through Wales.

• Dewi travelled far on his missionary journeys through Wales, where he established several churches. He also travelled to the south and west of England and Cornwall as well as Brittany. It is also possible that he visited Ireland.

• He founded a monastery at Glyn Rhosyn (Rose Vale) on the banks of the small river Alyn where the cathedral city of St. David stands today.

• Perhaps the most well-known story regarding Dewi’s life is said to have taken place at the synod of Llanddewi Brefi. They were to decide whether Dewi was to be Archbishop. A great crowd gathered at the synod, and when Dewi stood up to speak, one of the congregation shouted, ‘We won’t be able to see or hear him’. At that instant the ground rose till everyone could see and hear Dewi. Unsurprisingly, it was decided, very shortly afterwards, that Dewi would be the Archbishop.

• It is claimed that Dewi lived for over 100 years. He died, on a Tuesday, the 1st of March, in the year 589. When he died, the monastery is said to have been ‘filled with angels as Christ received his soul’.

• Dewi’s body was buried in the grounds of his own monastery, where the Cathedral of St. David now stands. After his death, his influence spread far and wide – first through Britain, along what was left of the Roman roads – and by sea to Cornwall and Brittany.

• Wales celebrate with special meetings and events. In St. David’s Hall, Cardiff, each March 1st, there’s a concert featuring a 1000-member male voice choir, specially formed for the occasion. Male voice choirs are flown to all corners of the globe on St. David’s Day, to entertain Welsh communities.

Image: alternatehistory

Related Article: Who Is Dewi?

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