Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Feast of St. David of Wales

File:Jesus Chapel St David.jpg
St. David of Wales, Bishop; window at Jesus College Chapel, Oxford.

Today is the Feast of St. David, Bishop, Confessor, and patron saint of the country of Wales!  Dying in 544AD, St. David was the first Bishop of Menevia.  He had been a monk, founded several monasteries, and did much to promote virtue and discipline in  the Welsh Church.
You can read more about St. David here:
Old Catholic Encyclopedia: St. David

Catholic Saints Info: St. David of Wales

Indeed, in Wales, today is a Feast of the First Class on the Traditional calendar, and a Solemnity on the New Calendar.

It is customary on this day,  to wear a leek -- yes, the vegetable -- in honor of St. David on this day.  The Old Catholic Encyclopedia explains: "From time immemorial the Welsh have worn a leek on St. David's day, in memory of a battle against the Saxons, at which it is said they wore leeks in their hats, by St. David's advice, to distinguish them from their enemies. He is commemorated on 1 March."

The wearing of the leek in honor of St. David is actually a point of conversation in William Shakespeare's Henry V.  We have this exchange in Act, 4, Scene VII:
"FLUELLEN
Your majesty says very true: if your majesties is
remembered of it, the Welshmen did good service in a
garden where leeks did grow, wearing leeks in their
Monmouth caps; which, your majesty know, to this
hour is an honourable badge of the service; and I do
believe your majesty takes no scorn to wear the leek
upon Saint Tavy's day.
KING HENRY V
I wear it for a memorable honour;
For I am Welsh, you know, good countryman."
cf. William Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 4, Scene 7


St. David, pray for us, and pray for Wales!

Live well!

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