Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Saint Dwynwen's Day

Who's Saint Dwynwen, you ask? She's the Welsh patron saint of lovers. She's also the patron saint for injured animals. Which goes to show they were already multi-taking back in the 5th century.

Here's St. Dwynwen's story (or at least one version of it).

Dwynwen was a virtuous and pretty girl. In fact, she was the prettiest of her father's twenty-four daughters. Apparently, the picture above doesn't do her credit. Anyway, Dwynwen was bopping around, doing whatever girls did back in the 5th century (eating rabbit? picking daffodils, polishing her dad's armor?) when she met this really cute guy named Maelon Dafodrill. Maelon was new in town, recently arrived from the north. Dwynwen and Maelon fell in love. No doubt you saw that coming.

However, Dwynwen's dad,
Brychan Brycheiniog, wasn't all that impressed with Maelon plus he'd already arranged a marriage to a prince for Dwynwen.

Hearing the word "no," annoyed Maelon. Let me interject here to say that Maelon was one of those guys who was super cute on the outside, but a major jerk on the inside. We've all dated at least one. Back to the story. Maelon was seriously annoyed that he couldn't marry Dwynwen. So, he had his way with her (you never know who's reading this blog), then skipped town, probably heading back up north.

Poor Dwynwen. She fled to the woods. An angel showed up and granted her three wishes. Dwynwen wished she'd never lay eyes on Maelon the Jerk again. Then she wished that she'd never have to get married. And, finally, she wished for the opportunity to help others wallowing in relationship pain. Also, somewhere in all of that, Dwynwen drank a potion to erase the memory of Maelon. And Maelon was briefly frozen into a block of ice, but then allowed to thaw.

What happened to Dwynwen? She sailed off in a boat to the east coast of the island of Anglesey where she became a nun and founded a convent. You can make a pilgrimmage to Llanddwynwen and visit its remains. There's a well with either a magic fish or magic eels that can predict the future of your current relationship. Might be worth it.

So, dear friends, Happy Saint Dwynwen's Day! Or...Dwy'n dy garu di!

Note to Mr. Summy: When celebrated in Southern California, Saint Dwynwen's Day involves the giving of chocolates, flowers and a sushi dinner out.



Beth said...

Fascinating story but it’s the having twenty-four daughters that really captured my interest – wow! (That poor woman/mother…)
Happy Saint Dwynwen's Day to you, too!

Teresa said...

Sushi covered with magic fish and magic eels??? Happy Valentine's Day!!

Barrie said...

Beth: depending on the version, Dwynwen's dad had 50 children all told. So....I don't know how many wives there were to produce the 24 daughters.

Barrie said...

Teresa: Sushi covered with magic fish and magic eels really doesn't sound too appetizing. ;)

Charles Gramlich said...

I've heard of this Saint before but had largely forgotten. Cool reminder!

Gabriele Goldstone said...

I very much enjoyed that story. Hope you got chocolates or sushi, or both!

David Cranmer said...

Great history, Barrie! And Happy Saint Dwynwen's Day!

Barrie said...

Charles: You're ahead of me. I hadn't heard it before reading it the other day.

Barrie said...

Gabriele: So far, I've gotten beautiful, sweet-smelling roses. BUT the weekend is here..... ;)

Barrie said...

David: Good to see you!