The Story Behind St. David, the Patron Saint of Wales

The 1st of March is an important day for the people of Wales as it’s a day for remembering the patron saint, St. David.

St David’s Day falls on the very first day of March every year. Like many patron saints’ days across the UK, St David’s is dedicated to the life and soul of St David, remembered for his miracles and preaches.

Who was St. David?

Born in Caerfai in the south west of Wales, St David was part of an aristocratic family and a scion of the royal house of Ceredigion. It’s unclear when exactly St David was born, but it’s commonly thought to have been in the year 500. Legend says that his mother, St Non, gave birth to him on a Pembrokeshire clifftop during a storm. The ruins of Non’s Chapel can be found on that exact spot. What we do know for sure is that he died on March 1st  , which is why he is remembered on that day. After his death, the Catholic Church declared him as the patron saint of Wales.

Why did St. David become the Patron Saint of Wales?

During St. David’s life, it’s thought that he founded a monastery close to Caerfai, where he and his fellow monks lived. It’s also thought that he founded 12 other monasteries across Wales and Britain, including Glastonbury and Minevia (now known as St. Davids).

St David was known to be a passionate preacher and there are many stories surrounding the miracles he performed on others. Perhaps one of his most famous miracles was when he brought a dead boy back to life by splashing his face with tears.

St David’s Legacy

Today, a church stands on top of a hill in the village of Llanddewi Brefi, on the ground where St. David once preached. However, there are many churches and chapels all over Wales dedicated to him. By the 12th century, there were more than 60 dedicated churches.

St David was buried at the site of St David’s Cathedral in Pembrokeshire, also the site of one of his monasteries. His famous final last words were: ‘Do the little things, the small things you’ve seen me doing.’ These words are still well known in Wales.

How is St. David’s Day celebrated?

On March 1st, flags are flown and songs are sung all across Wales. It’s known as one of the most colourful days of the year, filled with parades, concerts and festivals. The most popular parade is the National St David’s Day Parade which takes place in Cardiff. It’s a true celebration of Welsh heritage and culture, bringing together various cultural groups, school children and musicians.

Join in the St David’s Day celebrations when you book a trip to Wales through Best of Scotland Holidays. You can check out our full range of packages to Wales here. If you’d like to discuss any of our packages, please get in touch with our friendly team of experts today.

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