Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Dydd Santes Dwynwen

Saint Dwynwen's Day
St Dwynwen's Day falls on the 25th January, Wales’s own day of all things related to cariad (love).  St Dwynwen, the saint of friendship and love is Wales's female equivalent of St Valentine.

The legend
St. Dwynwen lived about 500 A.D., one of 24 daughters of King Brychan Brycheiniog.

Dwynwen fell in love with a prince, Maelon Dafodrill, who wanted to marry her. The reasons they could not marry are not certain; some say that her father had promissed her to some one else whilst others say that she had decided to become a nun.

In her grief Dwynwen fled to the woods.  Dwynwen begged God to help her forget Maelon. In a dream or vision, an angel came to her and gave her a potion which was designed to erase all memory of Maelon. It also had the surprising effect of turning Maelon into a statue of ice.

God then granted Dwynwen three wishes. First she wished that Maelon be unfrozen; second that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers; and third, that she should never marry. All three were fulfilled, and as a mark of her thanks, Dwynwen devoted herself to God's service for the rest of her life.

Dwynwen founded a convent on what is now Llanddwyn island - Llanddwyn means Church of Dwyn(wen).  The island is just off the coast of Anglesey (Yns Mon) in North Wales.  Also located on the island is Dwynwen's holy well. The belief exists that the movement of sacred fish in the well could predicted the happiness and fortunes of visiting lovers. It is reported that if the fish movements cause the water to “boil” then love and good luck will surely follow.

One of her sayings was, "Nothing wins hearts like cheerfulness."  A saying that is as good now as it ever was then.


Chris Stovell said...

That's a lovely post. I didn't know the story behind Dydd Santes Dwynwed - in fact, Ma asked me this morning about it. Now I can tell her!

Midlife Singlemum said...

I love it when I learn something new from a blog. thanks.

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