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Bishop Saint David of Wales - Be joyful, and keep your faith and your creed
Bishop Saint David of Wales - Be joyful, and keep your faith and your creed
Bishop Saint David of Wales - Be joyful, and keep your faith and your creed
Bishop Saint David of Wales - Be joyful, and keep your faith and your creed
 
 
 

 
 

Stained glass window in Jesus College Chapel, Oxford, showing Bishop Saint David; late 19th century; commons.wikimedia.org
 
 
Early life

Saint David (or Dewi Sant in Welsh) was born on the South West coast of Wales, near the present day city of St David’s.

David is believed to have been born near the present day city that bears his name, in Pembrokeshire, South West Wales. The exact year of his birth is unknown, with estimates ranging from 462 to 515 AD.

Much of what we know about David comes from Rhygyfarch, the 11th century author who wrote the Life of Saint David. As it was written so long after the fact, its reliability is questionable. Additionally, the legend is woven with embellishments, which would have been undoubtedly inspiring to believers in centuries past.

We know that David was born into an aristocratic family. According to the legend, an angel foretold the birth of David to Saint Patrick 30 years before it happened.

Rhygyfarch wrote that he was the son of ‘sanctus rex ceredigionis’. This is believed to be Sandde or Sant, prince of Powys and the son of King Ceredig, the founder of Ceredigion.

David was born to St Non at what is now Capel Non’s, to the south of the city that bears his name. It is thought that Non was a victim of violation by Sandde after she resisted his initial advances. Non became a nun and was later canonised. His mother is said to have given birth on a cliff top in the middle of a violent storm. The birthing process was said to have been so intense and fraught that her fingers left marks as she grasped a rock. As David was born a bolt of lightning from heaven is said to have struck the rock, splitting it in two.

Non named her son Dewidd, though local Dyfed pronunciation meant he was commonly called Dewi. David is an Anglicised variation of the name derived from the Latin Davidus.

Brought up by his mother in Henfeynyw near Aberaeron, David is said to have been baptised at nearby Porthclais by Saint Elvis of Munster. It is said that a blind monk, Movi, was cured after drops of water splashed into his eyes as he held David.


 
Early life

Saint David (or Dewi Sant in Welsh) was born on the South West coast of Wales, near the present day city of St David’s.

David is believed to have been born near the present day city that bears his name, in Pembrokeshire, South West Wales. The exact year of his birth is unknown, with estimates ranging from 462 to 515 AD.

Much of what we know about David comes from Rhygyfarch, the 11th century author who wrote the Life of Saint David. As it was written so long after the fact, its reliability is questionable. Additionally, the legend is woven with embellishments, which would have been undoubtedly inspiring to believers in centuries past.

We know that David was born into an aristocratic family. According to the legend, an angel foretold the birth of David to Saint Patrick 30 years before it happened.

Rhygyfarch wrote that he was the son of ‘sanctus rex ceredigionis’. This is believed to be Sandde or Sant, prince of Powys and the son of King Ceredig, the founder of Ceredigion.

David was born to St Non at what is now Capel Non’s, to the south of the city that bears his name. It is thought that Non was a victim of violation by Sandde after she resisted his initial advances. Non became a nun and was later canonised. His mother is said to have given birth on a cliff top in the middle of a violent storm. The birthing process was said to have been so intense and fraught that her fingers left marks as she grasped a rock. As David was born a bolt of lightning from heaven is said to have struck the rock, splitting it in two.

Non named her son Dewidd, though local Dyfed pronunciation meant he was commonly called Dewi. David is an Anglicised variation of the name derived from the Latin Davidus.

Brought up by his mother in Henfeynyw near Aberaeron, David is said to have been baptised at nearby Porthclais by Saint Elvis of Munster. It is said that a blind monk, Movi, was cured after drops of water splashed into his eyes as he held David.




 
 
 

 
 

St David’s Church, Llanddewi-Brefi, Ceredigion, Wales. Photo: Roger Kidd; commons.wikimedia.org
When the Synod of Brefi was held in the village in the sixth century, it is said that the small hill upon which the church stands marks the spot where the ground was miraculously raised up under St David so that he could be heard better at this synod. commons.wikimedia.org
 
 
Religious life

David was educated at a monastery, usually taken to be Whitland in Carmarthenshire, under Saint Paulinus of Wales. He is said to have cured his tutor of blindness by making the sign of the cross. Realising that David was blessed, Paulinus sent him off as a missionary to convert the pagan people of Britain.

Soon after reaching adulthood, David was ordained a priest. He worked firstly in Wales and later on, in the west of England and in Brittany, and is also believed to have visited Rome and Jerusalem. He is said to have founded 12 monasteries in southern Wales during the course of his travels.

David believed in a simple life. His monks rose at dawn to pray, and afterwards worked the fields around the monastery. They had to pull the ploughs themselves without the help of animals, and prayed as they worked.

The men were expected to remain silent unless praying or in an emergency. They ate only bread and vegetables, and drank nothing but milk and water. David himself drank only water. Despite his strict ascetic principles, David’s piety and charisma was enough to unite his followers.

However, at one of his monasteries the life of austerity was so unpopular that the monks attempted to poison David. Saint Scuthyn is said (other accounts name Saint Aeddan) to have warned him of the danger after travelling from Ireland on the back of a sea-monster. David ate the poisoned bread after blessing it, and came to no harm.

A monk, abbot and bishop who later became archbishop of Wales, David did much to spread the Christian word throughout the land. He was active in supressing the Pelagian heresy, the belief that original sin did not taint human nature and that people are capable of choosing good or evil without divine aid.

He founded a monastery in around 550, where St David’s, the United Kingdom’s smallest city, stands today. It is said by some that two pilgrimages to St David’s are equal to one pilgrimage to the Vatican in Rome.

The most famous story relating to Saint David occurred as he preached to a large crowd at the synod of Llandewi Brefi. One of the crowd shouted, "We won’t be able to see or hear him." The ground David stood on is said to have risen up so that he was standing on a hill, so he could be seen and heard by all.

David’s last recorded words appeared in a Sunday sermon. Rhygyfarch, himself the son of a later Bishop of St David’s, records the words as "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."

David is said to have lived for over 100 years, and died on Tuesday 1 March 589, in the week after his final sermon. He was buried in the grounds of his monastery, which was said to have been "filled with angels as Christ received his soul".

Throughout the Middle Ages David’s shrine became a popular destination for pilgrims. In the 12th century he was made the patron saint of Wales, with his feast day on 1 March. He was officially recognised as a saint by Pope Callixtus II in 1123.

Saint David is often shown with a dove on his shoulder. The bird symbolises the Holy Spirit which gave David the gift of eloquence as he preached.


 
Religious life

David was educated at a monastery, usually taken to be Whitland in Carmarthenshire, under Saint Paulinus of Wales. He is said to have cured his tutor of blindness by making the sign of the cross. Realising that David was blessed, Paulinus sent him off as a missionary to convert the pagan people of Britain.

Soon after reaching adulthood, David was ordained a priest. He worked firstly in Wales and later on, in the west of England and in Brittany, and is also believed to have visited Rome and Jerusalem. He is said to have founded 12 monasteries in southern Wales during the course of his travels.

David believed in a simple life. His monks rose at dawn to pray, and afterwards worked the fields around the monastery. They had to pull the ploughs themselves without the help of animals, and prayed as they worked.

The men were expected to remain silent unless praying or in an emergency. They ate only bread and vegetables, and drank nothing but milk and water. David himself drank only water. Despite his strict ascetic principles, David’s piety and charisma was enough to unite his followers.

However, at one of his monasteries the life of austerity was so unpopular that the monks attempted to poison David. Saint Scuthyn is said (other accounts name Saint Aeddan) to have warned him of the danger after travelling from Ireland on the back of a sea-monster. David ate the poisoned bread after blessing it, and came to no harm.

A monk, abbot and bishop who later became archbishop of Wales, David did much to spread the Christian word throughout the land. He was active in supressing the Pelagian heresy, the belief that original sin did not taint human nature and that people are capable of choosing good or evil without divine aid.

He founded a monastery in around 550, where St David’s, the United Kingdom’s smallest city, stands today. It is said by some that two pilgrimages to St David’s are equal to one pilgrimage to the Vatican in Rome.

The most famous story relating to Saint David occurred as he preached to a large crowd at the synod of Llandewi Brefi. One of the crowd shouted, "We won’t be able to see or hear him." The ground David stood on is said to have risen up so that he was standing on a hill, so he could be seen and heard by all.

David’s last recorded words appeared in a Sunday sermon. Rhygyfarch, himself the son of a later Bishop of St David’s, records the words as "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."

David is said to have lived for over 100 years, and died on Tuesday 1 March 589, in the week after his final sermon. He was buried in the grounds of his monastery, which was said to have been "filled with angels as Christ received his soul".

Throughout the Middle Ages David’s shrine became a popular destination for pilgrims. In the 12th century he was made the patron saint of Wales, with his feast day on 1 March. He was officially recognised as a saint by Pope Callixtus II in 1123.

Saint David is often shown with a dove on his shoulder. The bird symbolises the Holy Spirit which gave David the gift of eloquence as he preached.




 
 
 

 
 

Saint David of Wales mosaic (detail); Westminster Cathedral, Metropolitan Cathedral of the Most Preciouos Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, (mother church of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales), London, England; Photo: Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.; northcountrypublicradio.org
 
 
 
Collect Prayer for Saint David of Wales

O God, who graciously bestowed on your Bishop Saint David of Wales the virtue of wisdom and the gift of eloquence, and made him an example of prayer and pastoral zeal; grant that, through his intercession, your Church may ever prosper and render you joyful praise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

 

After seventy years devoted to the practice of the most sublime virtues, corporal infirmities admonished our Saint that the time of her dissolution was nigh. It was now half a century since, by her holy vows, she had irrevocably consecrated herself to God, and during that period great results had been attained; her holy institute having widely diffused itself throughout the Green Isle, and greatly advanced the cause of religion in the various districts in which it was established. Like a river of peace, its progress was steady and silent; it fertilized every region fortunate enough to receive its waters, and caused them to put forth spiritual flowers and fruits with all the sweet perfume of evangelical fragrance. The remembrance of the glory she had procured to the Most High, as well as the services rendered to dear souls ransomed by the precious Blood of her divine Spouse, cheered and consoled Brigid in the infirmities inseparable from old age.

Her last illness was soothed by the presence of Nennidh, a priest of eminent sanctity, over whose youth she had watched with pious solicitude, and who was indebted to her prayers and instructions for his great proficiency in sublime perfection. The day on which our abbess was to terminate her course, February 1st, 523, having arrived, she received from the hands of this saintly priest the blessed Body and Blood of her Lord in the divine Eucharist, and, as it would seem, immediately after her spirit passed forth, and went to possess Him in that heavenly country where He is seen face to face and enjoyed without danger of ever losing Him. Her body was interred in the church adjoining her convent, but was some time after exhumed, and deposited in a splendid shrine near the high altar.

In the ninth century, the country being desolated by the-Danes, the remains of Saint Brigid were removed in order to secure them from irreverence; and, being transferred to Down-Patrick, were deposited in the same grave with those of the glorious Saint Patrick. Their bodies, together with that of Saint Columba, were translated afterwards to the cathedral of the same city, but their monument was destroyed in the reign of King Henry VIII. The head of Saint Brigid is now kept in the church of the Jesuits at Lisbon.

Reflection - Outward resemblance to our Lady was Saint Brigid’s peculiar privilege; but all are bound to grow like her in interior purity of heart. This grace Saint Brigid has obtained in a wonderful degree for the daughters of her native land, and will never fail to procure for all her devout clients.




 
 
 
 
March 1 - Saint David, Monk, Abbott and Bishop of Wales (~500-589) - Be joyful, and keep your faith and your creed - Patron of Wales and newborns


 
 

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top
X
OUR FATHER

Our Father, Who Art In Heaven
Hallowed Be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy Will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
Liberate us from all temptation[*]
And deliver us from all evil. Amen



[*] Liberate us is in keeping with the original Latin text.
       God usually does not "lead us" to temptation
       (unless we are tested),
       but gives us the grace to overcome and/or resist it
X
HAIL MARY

Hail Mary, full of grace
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art though among women,
And blessed is the fruit
Of thy womb, Jesus.
 
Holy Mary, Mary of God
Pray for us sinners
Now, and in the hour
Of our death. Amen


 
X
APOSTLE'S CREED

I believe in God, the Father Almighty Creator of Heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ, His Only Son, our Lord;
Who was conceived by the
[work and grace of the] Holy Ghost,[*]
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into the Dead.[**]
On the third day, He rose again;
He ascended into Heaven,
And sits at the right hand of God,
the Father Almighty.
From thence he shall come to judge
the living and the dead.
 
I believe in the Holy Ghost,[*]
The Holy Catholic Church,
The communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins.
The resurrection of the body,
And life everlasting. Amen


[*] Holy Ghost: may be substituted with the current Holy Spirit.
[**] the Dead: "inferi", the underworld or the dead in Latin.
X
GLORIA

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost[*],
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen

[*] Holy Ghost: may be substituted with the current Holy Spirit.
X
DE PROFUNDIS

Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord:
Lord, hear my voice.
Let Thine ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplication.

If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities:
Lord, who shall abide it.
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness:
and because of Thy law,
I have waited for Thee, O Lord.

My soul hath waited on His word:
my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning-watch even until night,
let Israel hope in the Lord.

For with the Lord there is mercy:
and with Him plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
from all her iniquities.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost[*],
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen

[*] Holy Ghost: may be substituted with the current Holy Spirit.
X
DE PROFUNDIS

Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord:
Lord, hear my voice.
Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice
of my supplication.

If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities:
Lord, who shall abide it.
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness:
and because of Thy law,
I have waited for Thee, O Lord.

My soul hath waited on His word:
my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning-watch even until night,
let Israel hope in the Lord.

For with the Lord there is mercy:
and with Him plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
from all his iniquities.

V. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. From the gate of hell.
R. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with Thy Spirit.

(50 days indulgence to all who pray the De Profundis with V. and R.
"Requiem aeternam" (Eternal Rest) three times a day.
Pope Leo XIII, February 3, 1888)


Let us pray:
O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all
the faithful, we beseech Thee to grant
to the souls of Thy servants the remission
of their sins, so that by our prayers
they may obtain pardon for which they long.
O Lord, who lives and reigns,
world without end. Amen

May they rest in peace. Amen

CERRAR
SIGUIENTE
PADRE NUESTRO

Padre Nuestro,
que estas en los Cielos
Santificado sea Tu Nombre;
Venga a nosotros tu Reino;
Hágase Tu Voluntad
en la tierra como en el cielo.
Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día;
Perdona nuestras ofensas,
Como también nosotros
perdonamos a los que nos ofenden,
No nos dejes caer en la tentación,
y líbranos del mal. Amén
 
CERRAR
SIGUIENTE
AVE MARÍA

Dios te salve, María,
llena eres de gracia;
El Señor es Contigo;
Bendita Tú eres
entre todas las mujeres,
Y bendito es el fruto
De tu vientre, Jesús.
 
Santa María,
Madre de Dios,
Ruega por nosotros
pecadores,
Ahora y en la hora
De nuestra muerte.
Amén
 
CERRAR
CREDO

Creo en Dios, Padre Todopoderoso,
Creador del cielo y de la tierra.
Creo en Jesucristo,
Su único Hijo, Nuestro Señor,
Que fue concebido por obra
y gracia del Espíritu Santo,
Nació de la Santa María Virgen;
Padeció bajo el poder de Poncio Pilato,
Fue crucificado, muerto y sepultado,
Descendió a los infiernos,
Al tercer día resucitó de entre los muertos,
Subió a los cielos
Y está sentado a la derecha de Dios,
Padre Todopoderoso.
Desde allí ha de venir a juzgar
a los vivos y a los muertos.

Creo en el Espíritu Santo,
La Santa Iglesia Católica,
La comunión de los santos,
El perdón de los pecados,
La resurrección de la carne
Y la vida eterna. Amén
 
 
CERRAR
DE PROFUNDIS

Desde lo hondo a Ti grito, Señor; Señor,
escucha mi voz;
Estén Tus oidos atentos
a la voz de mi súplica.

Si llevas cuenta de los delitos, Señor,
¿quién podrá resistir?
Pero de ti procede el perdón,
y así infundes respeto.
Mi alma espera en el Señor.

Espera en su palabra;
mi alma aguarda al Señor,
más que el centinela la aurora.
Aguarda Israel al Señor.

Como el centinela la aurora;
porque del Señor viene la misericordia.
la redención copiosa;
y Él redimirá a Israel de todos sus delitos.

Gloria al Padre, al Hijo y al
Espíritu Santo,
como es desde el principio,
es ahora y será por los siglos de los siglos.
Amén

X
GLORIA

Gloria al Padre, al Hijo y al
Espíritu Santo,
como es desde el principio,
es ahora y será por los siglos de los siglos.
Amén

CERRAR
DE PROFUNDIS y QUE DESCANSEN EN PAZ

Desde lo hondo a Ti grito, Señor;
Señor, escucha mi voz;
Estén Tus oidos atentos a
la voz de mi súplica.

Si llevas cuenta de los delitos, Señor,
¿quién podrá resistir?

Pero de ti procede el perdón,
y así infundes respeto.
Mi alma espera en el Señor.

Espera en su palabra;
mi alma aguarda al Señor,
más que el centinela la aurora.
Aguarda Israel al Señor.

Como el centinela la aurora;
porque del Señor viene la misericordia,
la redención copiosa;
y Él redimirá a Israel de todos sus delitos.

V. Dadles, Señor, a todas las almas
el descanso eterno.
R. Y haced lucir sobre ellas
vuestra eterna luz.
V. Que en paz descansen.
R. Amén.