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St David - The Patron Saint of Wales

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St David - The Patron Saint of Wales


On 1 March each year we celebrate our patron Saint,St David (better known as Dewi Sant in Wales) who died on that day in 589AD.


To mark the day, Welsh people around the world wear one or both of our national emblems - a daffodil or leek -and celebrate at special concerts and processions.


Dewi was educated in Cardiganshire and then went on pilgrimages, founding religious centres across Wales and England, including one at Glastonbury. He even travelled as far as Jerusalem, where he was made an archbishop.


He eventually settled at Glyn Rhosyn (now St Davids), in south west Wales, where he established a religious community. Many miracles have been attributed to him. The most incredible being when he caused the ground to rise beneath him when preaching so that everyone could see and hear him.


When David died he told his devoted followers to: "Be cheerful and keep your faith and belief, and do the little things that you have heard and seen through me."


The Cathedral of St Davids in Pembrokeshire, where his remains are buried, became a popular place of pilgrimage. It was said that two pilgrimages to St Davids equalled one to Rome and three equalled one to Jerusalem.


Note the white dove that appears in statues and stained glass depictions of our patron saint St David (better known as Dewi Sant in Wales) – it refers to his most famous miracle.

Apparently David was preaching in the village of Llanddewi Brefi when a white dove landed on his shoulder. The ground on which he stood then rose up to form a hill, enabling the assembled crowd to hear him better. In the 12th century it was declared by the Pope that two pilgrimages to St David’s Cathedral were equivalent to a pilgrimage to Rome; three to St David’s matched one to Jerusalem. Today, you can enjoy evensong, historic architecture and, in the summer, a fantastic classical music festival at the Cathedral

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