“do the little things, the small things you’ve seen me doing” – St David
The patron saint of Wales is celebrated on the 1st March.
There is not many facts about St David but there are a few undisputed ones;
- He really existed
- He was at the heart of the Welsh church in the 6th century
- He came from an aristocratic family in West Wales
- His mother was a saint, Saint Non
- His teacher was also a saint, St Paulinus
- He founded a large monastery in West Wales
- He was one of the early saints who helped to spread Christianity among the pagan Celtic tribes of Western Britain
- He became Archbishop of Wales, but remained in his community at Menevia (now called St Davids)
- He was active in supressing the Pelagian heresy
- His shrine became a great place of pilgrimage; four visits to the shrine at St David’s were considered the equivalent of two to Rome, and one to Jerusalem!
It’s a national festival in Wales and many people wear a daffodil or a leek. Another welsh symbol, y Ddraig Goch (the Red Dragon, Wales’s national flag, also concerts with particularly male voice choirs.
St David’s day begins in welsh primary schools and children dress in traditional costumes
Girls wear a petticoat and overcoat, made of Welsh flannel, and a tall hat, worn over a frilled bonnet.
Boys wear a white shirt, a Welsh flannel waistcoat, black trousers, long wool socks and black shoes.
In both schools the sing welsh songs and dance.
Legends of St David
His birth was fore told by St Patrick 30 years before David was born.
His mother Non, daughter of the local chieftain and probably niece of king Arthur was apparently seduced or raped by Sant, son of the king of Cardigan.
Non left her family and gave birth by the sea, it was very intense that her finger marks on the rocks where she grasped the rocks.
A bolt of lightning from the heavens struck the rock and split it in two as David was born. Non became a nun afterwards.
David monk’s life.
His direct teachings, influenced and shaped the spirituality of his time and place, was at the heart of the monastic community he founded known as St David
He believed that the monks should live a harsh life. they worked hard as well as praying and celebrating mass.
He expected the monks to remain silent, except for prayer or in an emergency.
Their diet was only eating only vegetables and bread, and milk and water to drink. St David himself only drank water.
David’s holiness and personal charisma kept the community together.
His life was attempted by one of his monasteries as they tried to poison him. he was warned by St scuthyn who travelled by a sea monster. He blessed the poison bread and ate it with no harm came to him.
In his last sermon David told his monks to “do the little things, the small things you’ve seen me doing”.