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Saint David
Saint David

Saint David

Feast Day
Mar 01, 2013
Wales, Vegetarians, Poets
<p>St. David was born around the year 500, and was a Welsh Bishop of Menevia during the 6<sup>th</sup> Century.&nbsp; He is regarded as a saint, and is the Patron Saint of Wales. &nbsp;He was a native to Wales.&nbsp; The date of his birth is still uncertain, and could be as early as 462, but most scholars believe it to be around 500.&nbsp;</p> <p>St. David was famous in his time as being a teacher and preacher, founding monastic settlements and Churches in Wales, Dumnonia, and Brittany.&nbsp; St. David&rsquo;s Cathedral stands on the site of the Monastery he founded in Pembrokeshire.&nbsp; He was ordained a Priest, and rose to the level of Bishop.&nbsp; He presided over two synods against Pelagianism, the belief that original sin did not taint the soul at birth.&nbsp; The first synod was held at Brefi around 560, and the second at Caerleon in 569.&nbsp; It was while he was in Brefi, that his best-known miracle is said to have taken place.&nbsp;&nbsp; While preaching in the middle of a large crowd at the Synod, the ground on which he stood is said to have risen up to form a small hill.&nbsp; A white dove, which became his emblem, was seen settling on his shoulder.&nbsp; He denounced Pelagianism at this same time, and it was here that he was declared Archbishop.&nbsp;</p> <p>St. David drafted a Monastic Rule, in which he stated that Monks had to pull the plow themselves, rather than with draught animals; they must only drink water and eat only bread with salt and herbs, and spend the evenings in prayer reading and writing.&nbsp; They were not allowed personal possessions under his Rule, including calling something as simple as a book, &ldquo;My book&rdquo;, everything was community owned.&nbsp; He lived a very simple life and practiced asceticism &ndash; the absence of worldly pleasures, teaching his followers to refrain from eating meat and drinking beer.&nbsp;</p> <p>Some claimed that St. David lived for over 100 years, and that he died on a Tuesday, March 1<sup>st</sup>.&nbsp; It is generally accepted that this was around 589.&nbsp; The Monastery where he died is said to have been &ldquo;filled with angels as Christ received his soul&rdquo;.&nbsp; His last words were, &ldquo;Be joyful, and keep your faith and your creed.&nbsp; Do the little things that you have seen me do and have heard about.&nbsp; I will walk the path that our fathers have trod before us&rdquo;.&nbsp; A very well known phrase in Wales today is, &ldquo;Do ye the little things in life&rdquo;.&nbsp; St. David was buried at St. David&rsquo;s Cathedral at Pembrokeshire, where his Shrine was a popular place of pilgrimage throughout the Middle Ages.&nbsp; The Vikings raided the Shrine of its precious metals in the 10<sup>th</sup> and 11<sup>th</sup> centuries, and in 1275 a new Shrine was constructed.&nbsp; The ruined base of the old Shrine remains to this day.&nbsp;</p> <p>St. David is also thought to be associated with &ldquo;Corpse Candles&rdquo;, lights that would warn of the imminent death of a member of the community.&nbsp; The story goes that David prayed for his people to have some warning of their death, so that they could prepare themselves.&nbsp; In a vision, David&rsquo;s wish was granted and told that from then on, people who lived in the land of St. David &ldquo;Would be forewarned by the dim light of mysterious tapers when and where the death might be expected&rdquo;.&nbsp; The color and size of the tapers indicated whether the person to die would be a woman, man, or child. &nbsp;</p> <h1><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>Practical Take Away</strong></span></h1> <p>St. David was born in Wales and was a Bishop of Menevia.&nbsp; He governed his monastery by following the example of the Eastern Fathers.&nbsp; Through his great leadership, many Monks went forth to evangelize Wales, Ireland, Cornwall, Brittany and the surrounding provinces.&nbsp; He built many Churches and monasteries, and was said to have built St. David&rsquo;s Cathedral in Pembrokeshire.&nbsp; He lived a very simple, humble life, giving up meat and beer.&nbsp; He preached for people to drink water and eat bread with herbs, rather than eating meat and drinking beer as a sign of offering up for our sins.&nbsp;</p>