Saint Dwynwen’s Day

The Welsh celebrate their patron saint of lovers on 25 January every year.

The Story of Saint (Santes) Dwynwen

Once upon a time in Wales lived King Brychan Brycheiniog who had over 30 children. She had 24 daughters out of whom Dwynwen was one of the prettiest. She fell in love with a handsome man from the North called Maelon Dyfodrull. However, Dwynwen’s father didn’t support either their love or marriage since he planned her daughter to be bride of a prince.

Dwynwen begged her father to let Maelon love her, but the king refused. So she escaped to the woods where she prayed to God to make her forget Maelon and freeze their love. Her prayers were answered. Maelon was turned into a block of ice while Dwynwen was given three wishes by an angel who visited her.

She wished to be free of Maelon, get never married and finally, she wished to devote the rest of her life helping those who suffered from lost love. Dwynwen became a nun and settled on the Isle of Llanddwyn close to the Isle of Anglesey.

Dwynwen died in arounf 460 CE. Dwynwen’s Church on Llanddwyn Island has been visited by hundreds of pilgrims every year since then, moreover, lovers or newlyweds also visit the place.

The name Dwynwen means “she who leads a blessed life”. Near the church a well can be found. According to folklore, there is a fish in the well that predicts how long-lasting the lovers’ relationship will be. If the fish is swiming in the well, great and blessed marriage will come.