< Back to blog

St David: The patron saint of Wales Posted On 01 March 2019

People around the world celebrate St David’s Day on the 1st March every year. But, who is St David and why is he celebrated?

 

St David is the patron saint of Wales. His exact date of birth is unknown but is believed to have been around 500 AD. The legend goes he was born on the Pembrokeshire cliffs during a fierce thunderstorm. His mother was a nun named Nonnita and his father was Sant, King of Ceredigion; thus, he came from a royal lineage and is believed to be related to King Arthur.

As a young man, he became a monk and founded a monastery close to where he was born. That area is now known as St David’s, and it is believed that St David’s Cathedral and St David’s Bishop’s Palace are built on that original site. St David’s is officially Britain’s smallest city, with a population of just 1,600.

As a monk he lived a modest life, surviving on only bread, vegetables and water, earning him the nickname Dewi Dyfrwr, ‘David the Waterdrinker’. During his life, St David founded a further 12 monasteries including Glastonbury and was named the Archbishop of Wales.

St David is said to have performed several miracles; including restoring a blind man’s sight and bringing a child back to life. The most well-known miracle was when while preaching to a large crowd, the people were struggling to hear him when a white dove landed on his shoulder and the ground on which he stood rose to form a mighty hill.

The dove became St David’s emblem, alongside the leek which, according to legend, became a tradition after St David advised the Welsh to wear a leek in their caps to recognise each other on the field of a great battle with the Saxons.

It is said St David lived for over 100 years and died on Tuesday, 1st March 589 AD. After his death, a shrine was built in his honour at the cathedral and by the 12th century, over 60 churches in Wales had been dedicated to him. His death has been recognised annually since his canonisation in the early 12th century by Pope Callixtus II.

Every year a National St David’s Day parade is held in the centre of Cardiff, with exciting performances by Welsh theatre groups, a parade with traditional dress and a food festival. Many children will wear traditional Welsh clothing to school and take part in school concerts.

St David’s day is the first patron saints day of the year, followed by St Patrick’s Day on the 17th March, St George’s Day on the 23rd April and St Andrews Day on the 30th November.

< Back to blog

Connect with us

Recent Posts

How best to prepare your garden for summer

Summer is just around the corner and, generally considered to be the busiest time of the year for gardeners, preparing your garden for the warmer months is vital if you want to get the most out of it and make it shine! Make the most of water butts.  One of the most economical things you …

Read more...

Who won the Game of Thrones?

After 73 episodes and 8 years Game of Thrones is officially over (Spoiler Alert) The Game of Thrones final episode was viewed live or on catchup by over 19.3 million people, a figure expected to rise to over 50 million during the week, smashing the previous record. The final season has divided opinion, but with …

Read more...

Man City make history

Man City win the FA Cup to become the first club to win the domestic treble. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon at Wembley stadium setting the stage for a great underdog performance, but Man City dashed any hope Watford had of creating an upset in the 26th minute when David Silva scored the first …

Read more...

The Emirates FA Cup Final preview

Man City have the chance to make history when they meet Watford FC in the Emirates FA Cup final this weekend. Newly crowned Premier League Champions, Man City face Watford FC in the FA Cup final this weekend, hoping to win the Cup for the first time since the 2010/11 season when they beat Stoke …

Read more...

Protect your home

Your home is the most expensive thing you will ever own, so it makes sense to look after it and keep it secure. Here are our top security tips. Between January and December 2018 there were 380,517 reported burglaries in the UK*. The impact of burglary is severe; taking 8 months* for the average person …

Read more...