Happy St David’s Day!
It was on this day in the year 589 AD that Bishop David died; he was canonised in the year 1120 AD. He became known as the patron saint of Wales in the 12th Century, during the time of fierce Welsh resistance to the invading Normans. His shrine can be visited at the Cathedral dedicated to him in Pembrokeshire, and which is built on the site of a Celtic monastic community that he established, Glyn Rhosyn, meaning The Vale of Roses. He was born to an aristocratic family in Caerfai, Pembrokshire, and studied theology under St Paulinus in Cardigan, eventually being consecrated Bishop. His devout Christian life was an example to all, and he went on to found some twelve monasteries, encouraging his monastic followers to lead simple lives of quiet devotion and labour.
He is recorded to have included this encouraging exhortation in one of his last sermons; “Be joyful, and keep your faith and your creed. Do the little things that you have seen me do and heard about. I will walk the path that our fathers have trod before us.” The expression “Do the little things” went on to become a well-known inspirational saying, and is still very much in use in Wales today.