Happy St. David's Day!

The 1st March is St. David’s Day. St. David, or Dewi Sant, is the patron saint of Wales, who is believed to have been born around the end of the 5th century AD and died on 1st March 589, during the early medieval period.

David’s mother was called Non and his father, Sant, was the son of Ceredig, King of Ceredigion.

During his life he went on pilgrimage through south Wales and the west of England, where he is believed to have founded several monasteries and churches, and became famous as a preacher. He also founded religious settlements in Brittany.

On a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in the 6th century, David was made an archbishop and was presented with gifts of a bell, staff, altar, and golden tunic. These gifts later became relics, which people later made their own pilgrimages to.

David eventually settled at Glyn Rhosyn, in south-west Wales, where he founded a very strict religious community. Glyn Rhosyn later became St. David’s Cathedral, where David was eventually buried. St. David’s shrine at St. David’s Cathedral became a popular place of pilgrimage throughout the medieval period. David was made a saint around 1120, after he died.

St. David’s most famous miracle is said to have taken place when he was preaching in the middle of a large crowd in Llanddewibrefi, where it is said he caused the ground to rise underneath him, forming a small hill, so that he could be seen and heard by all. A white dove was seen settling on his shoulder.

Dewi Sant
© Mazur/www.thepapalvisit.org.uk

© The British Museum 2012 | Credits