St David's


Monday Reflection


1st March 2021

...during a fierce storm...

Celebrations are taking place
for St David's Day with
Welsh people around the world
raising a toast to the
greatest figure in the
Welsh Age of Saints -
an irony given he was
a strict teetotaller.

St David was born in the year 500,
the grandson of Ceredig ap Cunedda,
King of Ceredigion.
According to legend,
his mother St Non gave birth to him
on a Pembrokeshire clifftop
during a fierce storm.

The spot is marked by the ruins
of Non's Chapel,
and a nearby holy well is said
to have healing powers.

He became a renowned preacher,
founding monastic settlements and
churches in Wales, Brittany and
southwest England -
including, possibly,
the abbey at Glastonbury.

St David reputedly made a pilgrimage
to Jerusalem, from which he brought
back a stone that now sits in an altar
at St David's Cathedral,
built on the site of
his original monastery.

St David and his monks followed
a simple, austere life.
They ploughed the fields by hand,
rather than using oxen,
and refrained from eating meat
or drinking beer.

St David himself was reputed
to have consumed only leeks and water -
which is perhaps why the leek
became a national symbol of Wales.

He is said to have performed many miracles
Two of which were curing his tutor
of blindness with the sign of the cross
and bringing a dead boy back to life
by splashing the child's face
with tears.

The most famous miracle associated
with St David took place when
he was preaching to a large crowd
in Llanddewi Brefi,
a village in Ceredigion, Wales;
when people at the back complained that
they could not hear him,
the ground on which he stood
rose up to form a hill.
A white dove, sent by God,
settled on his shoulder.

St David died on 1 March -
St David's Day - in 589.
He was buried at the site of St David's Cathedral,
where his shrine was a popular place
of pilgrimage throughout the
Middle Ages and still is today.

His last words to his followers came
from a sermon he gave on
the previous Sunday:
'Be joyful, keep the faith,
and do the little things that you
have heard and seen me do.'

The phrase
'Gwnewch y pethau bychain mewn bywyd' -
'Do the little things in life' -
is still a well-known maxim in Wales.

This thought was paraphrased later
by Mother Theresa who said,
Not all of us can do great things.
But we can do small things
with great love.

A good maxim for all our lives.

It may be interesting to watch,
or just listen to a song
'Little Things With Great Love'
sung by The Porter's Gate -
(feat. Madison Cunningham)
(with lyrics)'
via the link shown below.