Today is a special day for all patriotic Welsh people. We wear our national vegetable with pride and some of our women dress up in national costume to celebrate our patron saint – Dewi Sant (that's Saint David to anyone who lives on the wrong side of  Offa's Dyke).

Who was St David? I hear you cry in your English accents with arrogant Saxon undertones.

Dewi Sant was born around 500 AD and, unlike Saints George, Patrick and Andrew he was actually a native to the country he would become the patron saint of.

If you go back in time to when Dewi walked the hills of Wales you would find a pagan feudalistic society with local chieftains and regional Kings at war with each other and this was the world that confronted Dewi Sant.

We must not underestimate the hardened Welsh rulers  and their long history of pagan worship within Wales at this time, which was as much a part of the Welsh culture as the small chapels were to the 19th century coal mining towns of the South Wales valleys.

Any man of God in these times took his life into his own hands when venturing forth into the wilderness to convert the heathen idol worshippers to the light of Christ.


But they did convert the Welsh, and they did it highly successfully with a combination of miracles and diplomacy with the regional ruling classes.

This early church of St David would have resembled the Orthodox church of today which is still alive in small pockets in Wales in a sort of Celtic Orthodox monastic faith which was very strict.

Saint David insisted that his followers were vegetarian whose diet consisted of bread with salt and herbs. Water was also the only liquid refreshment on the menu  (so beer was out of the question) and personal possessions were banned, to claim ownership of anything was an offence.

Dewi Sant is also credited by some sources as the founder of the original Glastonbury abbey and he is said to have performed many miracles one of which saw a hill grow higher beneath his feet so he could be seen and heard to a large crowd who had come to hear him speak.

This miracle took place at Llanddewi Brefi (made famous in recent times by the BBC series  'Little Britain' and its famous fictional inhabitant Daffyd Thomas also known as 'The Only Gay in the Village') which takes its name from him.

So all proud Welshmen go and buy your leeks and daffodils and wear them with pride today to remember a very brave man who faced insurmountable odds yet overcame through his faith in God who is to be remembered by generations of  Welshmen and women.

Dewi Sant died on March the 1st 589 AD.



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