Welsh Valentine's Day January 25th
On the 25th of January, we celebrate the day of St Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint of lovers. So what was her story?
Well, the legend goes a little like this...
In the fifth-century King Brychan Brycheiniog, ruled of the area of Wales which is now the Brecon Beacons National Park. He had a lot of children, with sources varying from twenty-four to sixty-three.
One of his many daughters was the beautiful Princess Dwynwen who fell in love with a handsome man from the village named Maelon. Her Father was outraged, as he had already promised her hand in marriage to a prince and forbid Dwynwen from ever seeing Maelon again.
With her heart broken, Dwynwen fled to the woods where she prayed for help forgetting her true love. As she knelt, an angel appeared before her and presented a sweet-tasting potion. On taking it, Maelon was turned to ice.
The angel then gave Dwynwen three wishes, which she thought about carefully before giving her answer. Her first wish was that Maelon would be thawed and that he would lead a happy life without her. Her second wish was for happiness for all true lovers. Her third wish was that she would never marry.
Dwynwen was so grateful to God that she dedicated her life to the Church, starting her own convent on Llanddwyn Island, a beautiful spot on Anglesey. She continued to pray for the dreams of lovers for the rest of her life, and rightly became St Dwynwen, Wales’ Patron Satin of Lovers.
Her name, pronounced D-oi-n-when, means ‘she who leads a bless life’.