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Happy St. David's Day !

Snowdrops in Spring, 2009.

Above: Clump of daffodils
photographed on 1st March,
St. David's Day.

1st March is the day of St. David, Patron Saint of Wales.
This is sometimes marked by the wearing of leeks or daffodils.

These cheerful yellow daffodils (pictured right) were photographed on St. David's Day and inspired a little research about the Patron Saint of Wales.

St. David, who was originally known by his Welsh name "Dewi", was born on the South Wales coast close to the location of the modern city that now bears his name: "St. David's". He grew up to become a monk. Following his education at the monastery of Hen Fynyw, he remained there for a while before traveling as a missionary spreading Christianity among the Celtic tribes of sixth century Britain. His missionary work involved journeys through Wales, south-west England, and even Brittany. Some sources speculate that he might also have visited Ireland. During this time he became well-known and respected as a persuasive teacher and preacher, and he established many churches and monasteries at places on his routes. The monastic rule of St. David laid out a simple life of hard work and personal poverty. No personal possessions were permitted. Water was the only beverage and the monks did not eat meat.

There are many stories about the life of St. David but it is difficult to distinguish between literal truth and legend due to the long period of time that elapsed between the life of St. David, and the time of writing of the surviving written accounts about him and his activities - an important source being Rhygyfarch's account of the life of St. David, written in Latin in the late 11th century. It is sometimes claimed that St. David was related to King Arthur, as perhaps he was.

Dewi (who became "St. David" after his canonisation), became an abbot, bishop, and eventually archbishop of Wales. It is generally accepted that he passed-on from physical life on 1st March 589, at an age of perhaps over 100 years - though his exact date of birth is not known.

St. David was canonised by Pope Callactus the Second in 1120. That encouraged many pilgrimages to St. David's, especially as it was said that two pilgrimages to St. David's were equivalent to one to Rome, and three pilgrimages to St. David's equivalent to one to Jerusalem!

Other webpages include further information about St. David.
See also "Saint David and Saint David's Day".


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