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Monday, 25 January 2016

Dydd Santes Dwynwen Hapus ( Happy St Dwynwen's Day)

 Today, 25 January is when the Welsh celebrate St Dwynwen the Welsh Patron Saint of Lovers ( and sick animals). It's our Valentines Day.


 Dwynwen, who's name roughly translates as 'she who leads a blessed life' was the daughter of  Brycan Brycheiniog, one of the Welsh Kings. As a young girl she fell in love with Maelon Dafodril. Unfortunately her father forbade the marriage, either because he didn't like Maelon or because he had arranged a marriage to someone else.
Dwynwen ran away and prayed to God to ask for help. When she fell asleep an angel visited her with a potion to help her forget her feeling towards Maelon. The angel, for reasons unknown. also turned Maelon into a block of ice. God also visited Dwynwen and granted her three wishes. Her first was that Maelon was to be thawed out, the second that she would never have to marry and her final wish was that God should meet the needs, through her, of all lovers should they ask.
When she woke Dwynwen decided to devote her life to the service of God and built a church on Llanddwyn, an island off the coast of Anglesey itself an island off the coast of North Wales.


 Here she lead the life of a hermit nun until her death in the 5th Century.

The remains of Dwynwen's church can still be seen on Llanddwyn as can Dwynwen's well.


This has been a place of pilgrimmage for Welsh lovers since Dwynwen's death. It is believed the well is home to sacred fish who can predict whether a relationship will succeed. If the fish are active in the well when a couple arrives it is seen as a sign that both partners will be faithful. If the water looks like it is boiling then good luck will befall the couple.




1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this little history lesson. My background is at least half Welsh and possibly 3/4 . It's nice to learn this.

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