It’s St David’s Day. So you all know what that means!
No? You don’t?
He’s the Patron Saint of Wales (the land of my Fathers) and his feast day is today. This means you must wear daffodils (or leeks) (I’d go with daffodils but that’s just me) on your lapel, fly the flag (yellow cross on black background) and sing Happy Birthday to my Dad.
Or the National Anthem.
Here is the Welsh National Anthem, by the way, (just in case you were not familiar with it) sung by the Welsh Rugby Team (just before Wales beat England 30-3)…
People all over Wales are wearing daffodils (or a leeks) in his honor and flying his flag (yellow cross on black background) and singing. We are good at singing, we Welsh. (I love the fact that wherever you go in Wales, no matter how small the village, you are almost guaranteed to find beautiful singing, and a male voice choir.)
St David (seen here in a stained glass window from Jesus College, Oxford) is the Patron Saint of Wales. In the 6th century he helped spread Christianity among pagan Celtic tribes of western Britain and he only ate watercress and once stood in the middle of a lake up to his neck–but I don’t remember why.
He is famous for saying, “Gwnewch y pethau bychain” (“do the little things”) but proceeded to be canonized and do great big things. But then again, even the greatest of all journeys is made up of small steps.
So, in honor of St David and his Day, why not do the little things today… take the next step… do the next thing.
Today is St David’s Day. So… Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus!
Hooray for St David!
Hooray for St David’s Day!
And Hooray for little things!
(Oh and happy birthday Dad!) (What better day, as a Welshman, could you chose to have your birthday on?)
PS: even GOOGLE is celebrating with GOOGLE DOODLE in his honor here. (You can see the Welsh Dragon in the background.)
PPS: Here is some official history:
St David, whose father was Sanctus, king of Ceredigion, is thought to have been born in 520. Some believe that his mother, a sainted nun called Nonnita, gave birth to him on the cliffs under a thunderstorm.
During the medieval period it was also believed that St David was the nephew of King Arthur.
Around 550, St David is thought to have founded a large monastery close by, the first of 11.
He instructed the monks under him to lead a simple life, abstaining from beer or meat. His vegetarianism and only drinking water, led to his nickname Dewi Ddyrwr (the water drinker).
The monk was made an archbishop and was among the early saints who spread Christianity in western Britain. He is thought to have died in 569.
In 1120 he was canonised by Pope Callactus II, following which he was declared the patron saint of Wales.
There are various miracles attached to the saint. He is reputed to have returned a boy from the dead by splashing his face with tears and for restoring a blind man’s sight.
His best known miracle occurred in the small village of Llanddewi Brefi: unable to see over the crowd, after a white dove landed on his shoulder the ground rose up to elevate him from the crowd.
His fame spread so much in the years after his death and burial that the Pope decreed that three pilgrimages to his shrine were equivalent to visiting Jerusalem once.
A petition in 2007 to make St David’s Day a bank holiday was rejected by Tony Blair after a poll the year previously found almost 90 per cent of the Welsh wanted it.