Thought for the day: "I thought I would go for broke - I have mainly managed that …."
St Dwynwen's Day is considered to be the Welsh equivalent to Valentine's Day and is celebrated on 25 January every year. It celebrates Dwynwen: the Welsh saint of lovers.
In the 5th Century Dwynwen fell in love with Maelon Dafodrill. Maelon
returned her feelings but for an undetermined reason, they could not be
together. Three hypotheses are that a) Maelon raped Dwynwen despite her
wish to remain celibate until after marriage, b) her father forbade the
marriage, or c) her father had already promised her to someone else.
Dwynwen, distraught by her love for Maelon, prays to fall out of love
After falling asleep, or possibly while still awake in a woods she
had run to in her distress, 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. God then gave three wishes to Dwynwen.
First she wished that Maelon be thawed, second that God meet the hopes
and dreams of true lovers and third that she should never marry. All
three were fulfilled, and as a mark of her thanks, Dwynwen devoted
herself to God's service for the rest of her life
Dwynwen became a nun, fulfilling her wish to never marry. She left for the island of Anglesey
and built a Church, which became known as Llanddwyn, literally meaning
"Church of Dwynwen". Its remains can still be seen today on the island of Llanddwyn, off the coast of Anglesey.
The smaller island also contains Dwynwen's well, where, allegedly, a
sacred fish swims, whose movements predict the future fortunes and
relationships of various couples.
Another tradition claims that if the
water boils while visitors are present, then love and good luck will
This version of the story is generally told to younger children,
usually in primary school or nursery as it is generally considered the
most appropriate for children.
Dwynwen was the beautiful daughter of Brychan Brycheiniog,
who was said to have had eleven sons and twenty-four daughters
(although these figures vary greatly, to the extent of suggesting he had
over fifty children). She met and fell madly in love with a man called
Maelon, and he reciprocated her feelings. She asked her father if she
could marry Maelon but Brychan disliked Maelon and refused to give his
permission. Maelon begged, as did Dwynwen, but Brychan would not relent
and Maelon was forced to leave.
Dwynwen was so upset that she ran into
the forest. There, she met an angel in a dream who granted her the
position of the Saint of Love
This could be fun....