Saint of the Day ~ March 1

SAINT DAVID (DEWI) of WALES (c.542-c.601), bishop – Patron saint of Wales

Today, the Church honors Saint David (Dewi) of Wales, who, other than being the patron saint of Wales, is ironically perhaps one of the most famous of British saints. We have little reliable information about him. The earliest historical mention we have in writing is found in a tenth-century manuscript titled “Annales Cambriae”.

Legend has it that David was born about the year 542 of a lady of noble Irish birth living in Dyfed, Wales. He was ordained to the priesthood, engaged in missionary work and founded several monasteries, including his principal abbey in southwestern Wales. Many stories sprang up about David and his Welsh monks. Their austerity was extreme, and they worked in silence without the help of animals to till the soil, and their food was limited to bread, vegetables and water.

About the year 560, David attended a synod where his eloquence impressed his fellow monks to such a degree that he was elected primate (bishop) of the region, even though he was only in his late teens or early twenties age-wise. His Episcopal See was moved to Mynyw in Wales where he had his monastery, currently called St. David’s.

In 569, he presided over another synod called “Victory” which marked the final demise of Pelagianism in Wales, a heresy which denied the existence of Original Sin and its consequences.

David presided over his diocese in Mynyw until his death from natural causes about the year 601. Legend tells us that his last words to his monks and subjects were: “Be joyful, brothers and sisters. Keep your faith, and do the little things that you have seen and heard with me.”

He was canonized a saint by Pope Callistus II in the year 1120.

We commemorate his feastday on March 1.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, americancatholic.org, catholicculture.org and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for Pastors ~ bishop)

“Lord God, You counted Saint David among Your holy pastors, renowned for faith and love which conquered evil in this world. By the help of his prayers, keep us strong in faith and love and let us come to share his glory.

“Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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