Saturday, January 25, 2014

Dydd Santes Dwynwen Hapus

Happy Saint Dwynwens Day

On the 25th of January each year, people all over Wales celebrate St Dwynwen's Day, the Welsh equivalent of Valentines Day.Whilst the occasion is still little known outside of Wales, exposure grows each year with events, dinners and special occasions being held all over her home country of Anglesey
 



 
Legend has it  that Dwynwen, whose name translates to 'she who leads a blessed life' was the prettiest of 5th Century Welsh king Brychan Brycheiniog's twenty-four daughters. She fell in love with a man named Maelon Dafodrill, but her father had already arranged for her to marry someone else and refused to give permission

Saint Dwynwen by Jonathan Earl Bowser 
On finding out, Maelon cruelly forced himself upon her and fled. Broken hearted, and grieved to have upset her father, Dwynwen ran to the woods and begged God to make her forget. An angel visited her in her sleep and gave her a potion to erase her memory of feelings for Maelon and turn him into a block of ice.
 
An Angel visits Dwynwen
Dwynwen was horrified to find her love frozen solid. She prayed again to God, who answered her prayers by granting her three wishes. Her first wish was to have Maelon thawed and for him to forget her; her second, to have God look kindly on the hopes and dreams of true lovers whilst mending the broken hearts of the spurned; and her third was for her to never marry, but to devote the remainder of her life to God, as thanks for saving Maelon.

Dwynwen's Chapel. Image by Wellhopper
The Chapel ruins on Llanddwyn Island
With each of her wishes coming true, Dwynwen devoted her life to God. She became a nun and set up a convent on the island of Llanddwyn, off the coast of Anglesey, the remains of which can still be seen today. along with Dwynwen's well. It's believed the well is home to sacred fish who can predict whether couples relationships will succeed; if the fish are seen to be active when visiting the well, it was seen as a sign of a faithful husband

Ancient Church & Celtic cross, Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey

After her death she was declared the Welsh Patron Saint of Lovers and ever since, Welsh lovers have looked to St Dwynwen for her help in courting their true love, or for forgetting a false one.

 

 Her most well known saying is “Nothing wins hearts like cheerfulness” 

Welsh Love Spoons
Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

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