Celebrated on March 1st is the feast day of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales, the date of Saint David’s death in 589 AD.
He was born on a Pembrokeshire clifftop during a fierce storm, according to legend, with the spot marked by the ruins of Non’s Chapel, (St Non was his mother) and a nearby holy well is said to have healing powers.
St David became a fine preacher, and reputedly made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he brought back a stone that today sits in an altar at St Davids Cathedral, built on the site of his original monastery, whilst also founding monastic settlements and churches in Wales, Brittany and southwest England. He was reputed to have consumed only leeks and water and he and his monks followed a simple, austere life.
His last words to his followers came from a sermon he gave on the Sunday before his passing:
‘Be joyful, keep the faith, and do the little things that you have heard and seen me do.’
The phrase ‘Gwnewch y pethau bychain mewn bywyd’ – ‘Do the little things in life’ – is still a well-known maxim in Wales.
He was buried at the site of St Davids Cathedral, where his shrine was a popular place of pilgrimage throughout the Middle Ages.
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