Celebrated on March 1st is the feast day of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales. The 1st of March is the date of Saint David’s death in 589 AD.
He was born on a Pembrokeshire clifftop during a fierce storm, according to legend, with the spot marked by the ruins of Non’s Chapel and a nearby holy well that is said to have healing powers.
St David became a fine preacher, and was said to have made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he brought back a stone that today sits in an altar at St David’s Cathedral. St David’s Cathedral was built on the site of his monastery. St David is said to have consumed only leeks and water, and he and his monks followed a simple, austere life.
His last words to his followers came from a sermon he gave on the Sunday before his passing:
‘Be joyful, keep the faith, and do the little things that you have heard and seen me do.’
The phrase ‘Gwnewch y pethau bychain mewn bywyd’ – ‘Do the little things in life’ – is still a well-known maxim in Wales.
St David was buried at the site of St Davids Cathedral, where his shrine was a popular place of pilgrimage throughout the Middle Ages.