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Saint David

David (known in Welsh as Dewi Sant) is the patron saint of Wales. Unlike Saint George, England's patron saint, much is known about his life.

He lived during the 5th century A.D. (date of death probably 601). He is believed to have been of royal blood and became renowned as a teacher and preacher, founding monastic settlements in his native land, in a period when neighbouring tribal regions (that were to be united as 'England' three hundred years later) were still mostly pagan. He rose to a bishopric, and presided over two synods, as well as going on pilgrimages to Jerusalem (where he was anointed as a bishop by the Pope) and Rome. St. David's Cathedral now stands on the site of the monastery he founded in a remote and inhospitable part of Pembrokeshire. He taught his followers to refrain from eating meat or drinking alcohol. His symbol, also the symbol of Wales, is the leek. See vegetarian.

The best-known miracle associated with St. David is said to have taken place on an occasion when he was preaching in the middle of a large crowd. When those at the back complained that they could not see or hear him, the ground on which he stood is reputed to have risen up to form a small hill so that everyone had a good view.

His last words are reputed to have been "Be steadfast, brothers, and do the little things".

Unlike many contemporary "saints" recognised by the Welsh, David was actually canonised.

Saint David's Day is March 1.