St. David, Our Nation’s Patron Saint
We celebrate the Feast Day of St. David this year on Tuesday 28th February as Wednesday 1st March is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.
St. David -
He studied under St. Illtud at Llantwit Major and later became a teacher and a preacher, founding many monasteries and churches throughout Wales. Indeed, St. David’s Cathedral in Pembrokeshire today stands on the site of a monastery that was founded by David.
Many miracles are attributed to David. It is said he resorted the sight of his tutor St. Paulinus, and that when he opened his eyes he saw daffodils for the first time. However, the best know miracle associated with David tells of when he was preaching to a large crowd. Some people complained that they could not hear or see him. David placed a handkerchief on the ground and stood on it. The ground is said to have miraculously risen up beneath him to form a small hill. A dove is said to have landed on his shoulder, a sign from God. The village of Llanddewi Brefi in Ceredigion is said to stand on this hill today.
It is said that David lived for more than a hundred years. He probably died on 1st March 589AD and was buried where St. David's Cathedral now stands. Upon his death the monastery was said to be ‘filled with angels as Christ received his soul.’ Rhygyfarch, the 11th century author of David’s life, transcribes his last words as:
“Be joyful, and keep your faith and your creed. Do the little things that you have seen me do and heard about. I will walk the path that our fathers have trod before us.”
Pope Callistus II canonised David in 1120 and since then 1st March, the date of his death, has been celebrated as his feast day.
Such was David’s revered holiness, Pope Callistus also decreed that two pilgrimages to St. David’s in Pembrokeshire was the equivalent to one pilgrimage made to Rome.
St. David, pray for us!
St. David, pray for Wales!
Masses for the Feast of St. David will be celebrated at St. Teilo’s, at 10.00am, the usual daily parish Mass, in English and at 7.00pm in Welsh. The Homily at the 7.00pm Welsh Mass will be preached in English.