Monday, 28 February 2011

O great St David

Daffodils are coming up all over the place, Wales won again (OK against Italy) it can mean only one thing - St David's Day tomorrow!
I gave Fr T a quick run-down on our saint today, so that he's all geared up for Mass in the morning. I was trying to describe the beautiful mini-city named after St David in West Wales. Its Latin name was Menevia, giving us the name of the modern diocese covering south-west Wales today, whose cathedral and bishop are in Swansea. The little town at the end of Pembrokeshire should have a special place in the heart of all Welsh people as the place where David eventually settled and was buried. The spot is now marked by the cathedral, now of course in Anglican hands. It's situated down in a  little dell, like other Welsh Celtic churches at Llantwit Major and our own Llandaff here in Cardiff. Although often the medieval bishops lived away, at Carmarthen, there are the fine remains of the Bishop's Palace still there, with their beautiful arcading from the time of Bishop Gower.
David's mother was Non, also revered as a saint. A short walk south from St David's brings you to her chapel, perched on the top of the cliffs, and adjoining a retreat-house. St Non's lies on the wonderful Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
If you have never been to St David's, and especially if you call yourself a Welshman - or woman - get down there this year, and soak in the atmosphere of our patron. Listen and digest his famous last words - "Be joyful, keep the faith!"

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