The patron saint of Wales is Saint David, or Sant Dewi as the Welsh call him. He lived in the sixth century and became the Archbishop of Wales. He was particularly fond of bread, vegetables, and water, drinking nothing but water for most of his life. He is also associated with water because it is said that a spring of water came bubbling up where he walked at significant times and places during his life. I’m interested in Saint David partly because some of my ancestors came from Wales.
The Welsh celebrate Saint David’s Day with leeks (remember Fluellen in Shakespeare’s Henry V?) and daffodils, male voice choirs, and harp concerts. If you would like to celebrate this Welsh holiday with your children, the website below has coloring pages, craft projects, a recipe for leek soup, and more information on David’s life.
St. David’s Day Activities for Kids
St. David died in about 589, and his last words were recorded as:
“Be joyful, and keep your faith and your creed. Do the little things that you have seen me do and heard about. I will walk the path that our fathers have trod before us.”
‘Do the little things’ (‘Gwnewch y pethau bychain’) is today a very well-known phrase in Welsh. It reminds me of Elisabeth Elliot’s admonition to “do the next thing.” Either way it seems to me to be a good motto. Sometimes it’s all I can do– to do the next little thing that needs to be done, and sometimes it’s enough. Happy St. David’s Day!