Friday, March 1, 2013

St. David's Day

Today is St David's Day. It is the national day of Wales, the country from whence came some of my ancestors. Wikipedia explains who the man was:
Dewi Sant – St. David was born towards the end of the fifth century. He was a scion of the royal house of Ceredigion, and founded a Celtic monastic community at Glyn Rhosin (The Vale of Roses) on the western headland of Sir Benfro, at the spot where St. David's Cathedral stands today. David's fame as a teacher and ascetic spread throughout the Celtic world. His foundation at Glyn Rhosin became an important Christian shrine, and the most important centre in Wales. The date of Dewi Sant's death is recorded as 1 March, but the year is uncertain – possibly 588. As his tearful monks prepared for his death St David uttered these words: "Brothers be ye constant. The yoke which with single mind ye have taken, bear ye to the end; and whatsoever ye have seen with me and heard, keep and fulfill."

For centuries the first of March has been a national festival. St David was recognised as a national patron saint at the height of Welsh resistance to the Normans. ....
More, from James M. Kushiner at Touchstone Magazine:
We don't know a great deal about David, and while you will find the usual skeptical opinion—"he is so shrouded in legend and overlaid with later hagiography that maybe he never existed"—there is enough historical evidence to believe that he existed, that he taught in Wales, and that he made a mark that lasted and spread. (The earliest surviving reference to him may well be an early 7th-century inscription on a gravestone: "Here lies Idnert, the son of Jacob, who was killed defending the church of holy David from pillage.") ....

We see someone who takes the Gospel seriously, gives his or her entire life to living it and spreading it, counting themselves as servants of Jesus Christ, and a previously pagan society some years or generations later has become populated with churches, monasteries, scriptural knowledge, increasing literacy, with a downturn in things such as human sacrifice and infanticide. .... [more]
Re-posted from 2010.

Saint David's Day - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Touchstone Magazine - Mere Comments: David of Wales
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