It’s St. David’s Day so Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus!

Source: Wikipedia

It is St. David‘s day once again, he is the patron saint of Wales

Dewi (David) is said to have been of royal lineage. His father, Sant, was the son of Ceredig, who was prince of Ceredigion, a region in South-West Wales. His mother, Non, was the daughter of a local chieftain. Legend has it that Non was also a niece of King Arthur.

Dewi was born near Capel Non (Non’s chapel) on the South-West Wales coast near the present city of Saint David. We know a little about his early life – he was educated in a monastery called Hen Fynyw, his teacher being Paulinus, a blind monk. Dewi stayed there for some years before going forth with a party of followers on his missionary travels.

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 claimed that Dewi lived for over 100 years, and it is generally accepted that he died in 589. His last words to his followers were in a sermon on the previous Sunday. Rhigyfarch transcribes these as ‘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.’ ‘Do the little things’ (’Gwnewch y pethau bychain’) is today a very well-known phrase in Welsh, and has proved an inspiration to many. On a Tuesday, the first of March, in the year 589, the monastery is said to have been ‘filled with angels as Christ received his soul’.

The daffodil and the leek are emblems of Wales. Legend has it that a white dove was seen to alight on his shoulder. On another occasion when he was preaching to a crowd, the ground rose to form a hillock so he could be seen and heard better. He and his fellow monks were called the “Watermen” as they drank only water. He was also called ‘Aquaticus’ .

Related articles

Playing tourist in our homeland

In 2003 my husband and I went to the UK. We were both born in England and had emigrated to Canada in our twenties and had only flown back for quick family visits in the intervening years. Although this was a sad visit, in that I was returning to attend to my late father’s affairs, we decided it probably would be the last time we would come to Britain so we would stay long enough to play tourist.

We rented a car and I was navigator and my husband had to reacquaint himself with driving on the opposite side of the road and tackling the roundabouts. The roads seems so narrow after forty years in Canada.

Since we were already in the south we decided our first stop should be London and of course we had to see the Tower of London. We visited Kew Gardens and the British Museum, as well as taking in some of the West End. London had changed a lot since I was a child but we enjoyed it although driving around was a challenge. Perhaps a tour would have been a better idea.

After a couple of days we drove on to Birmingham and found a nice restaurant at The Water’s Edge at Brindleyplace. We lingered for an hour or two strolling along the waterfront.

We then drove on to Manchester to see some of my husband’s relatives. I was surprised how much there was to do there. My husband was particularly interested in the Museum of Science and Industry and the Imperial War Museum North which he visited with his cousin, while his cousin’s wife and I left them and went shopping. We were fortunate in that we had their home to stay in, as getting a hotel in UK in summer can be difficult if you don’t have reservations.

After a couple of days we carried on to the Liverpool area which is my husband’s old stomping ground, and he showed me around the places he remembered from forty years before.

Finally it was time to return home so we dropped of the car and took a train back to London’s Heathrow airport and returned to Canada. We are glad we took time to play tourist in the country where we were born.