Who is St. David?

Statue of Dewi Sant in the nave at St David’s Cathedral

Saint David is the Patron Saint of Wales and is known and revered throughout the Celtic world. He is remembered as our holy patron since the current church was dedicated with a service of solemn Evensong on his feast day, 1 March 1964.

The Legend of Saint David of Wales

David was born c. 500 C.E., the son of St Non and a prince of Ceredigion.  Legend states that Non gave birth to him on a cliff top during a violent storm.  The present cathedral stands on the site of the monastery he founded in the inhospitable area known as ‘Glyn Rhosyn.’  David and his followers lived a simple life; they refrained from eating meat or drinking beer.  David’s symbol, now a national symbol of Wales, is the leek. [Since the 19th century, the daffodil (named for St David) has also been adopted as a symbol of the saint.]

David rose to become a bishop in the church and made several pilgrimages including one to Jerusalem during which, tradition states, he brought back with him a stone which now sits in an altar in the south transept of the cathedral.

The best known miracle associated with David is said to have taken place when he was preaching in the middle of a large crowd at the Synod of Llanddewi Brefi.  When those at the back complained that they could not hear him, the ground on which he stood is reputed to have risen up to form a small hill so that everyone had a good view.  A white dove settled on his shoulder, a sign of God’s grace and blessing.

David died in the year 589 and the monastery is said to have been ‘filled with angels as Christ received his soul’.  His final words to his followers were: ‘Be Joyful.  Keep the Faith.  Do the little things that you have heard and seen me do.’ – from St David’s Cathedral, A Brief History

More information can be found at St. Davids Cathedral.