January 19, 2017
St Dwynwen's Day is celebrated on the 25th of January each year. But who is Saint Dwynwen and what does it celebrate?
Sante Dwnwyn is the patron saint of lovers. She represents love in a similar way to the better know Saint Valentine. Dwynwen was very unfortunate when it came to love. She is famed for transforming her own negative experiences into something positive, in the hope that future lovers would have better luck than she did.
Dwynwen lived during the 5th century and was one of the prettiest of Brychan Brycheiniog's many daughters. Dwynwen lives in Brecon and fell in love with a prince called Maelon Dafodrill, but her father had already arranged her marriage to someone else. She was so upset that she could not marry Maelon that she begged God to make her forget him. After falling asleep, Dwynwen was visited by an angel, who appeared carrying a sweet potion designed to erase all memory of Maelon and turn him into a block of ice, so that we could free herself from him.
God then gave three wishes to Dwynwen. Her first wish was that Maelon be thawed; her second that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers; and third, that she should never marry. All three were fulfilled, Maelon disappeared too, and as a mark of her thanks Dwynwen devoted herself to God's service for the rest of her life. She wanted to dedicate her life to helping those who felt pain from love.
(Above: Our St Dwynwen Necklace is made from Sterling Silver and Resin)
She founded a convent on Llanddwyn, off the west coast of Anglesey, where a well named after her became a place of pilgrimage after her death in 465AD. People would visit the church when they had a love related trouble. Visitors to the well thought the sacred fish and eels that lived in the well could foretell the future - upon looking into the well they would know whether love and happiness would be theirs.
(Above: The ruins of Llanddywn Chapel)
Santes Dwynwens story was only recently rediscovered in the 1970's. You can still see the ruins of Dwynwen's church on the island of Llanddwyn, which exists on a costal path route (Anglesey Coastal Path). Today many lovers choose to take the walk along this costal path - arguably the most romantic walk in Wales!
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