Saint David of Wales
St. David of Wales (6th c.), also called Dewi Sant by the Welsh, was a missionary priest, Celtic monk, archbishop, miracle-worker, and the founder of many monasteries in Wales and western England. He was descended from Welsh royalty, and in medieval times many believed he was the nephew of the famed King Arthur. His great leadership abilities gave him influence over many Church affairs. In the dozen monasteries he founded he established strict asceticism modeled after the early desert hermits. St. David is often depicted standing on a mound with a dove on his shoulder. According to legend, one day while preaching a dove rested on his shoulder, and the earth rose to lift him above the crowd so that all could hear him speak. During a battle with the Saxons, St. David advised the Welsh soldiers to wear leeks in their hats to distinguish themselves from their enemy; this is the origin of the leek as an emblem of Wales. St. David is one of the great saints of the 6th century whose work helped to establish Christianity in Europe. He is the patron saint of Wales, and his feast, "St. David's Day," is a popular cultural celebration. The Cathedral of St. David's in Pembrokeshire was built over his remains and became a pilgrimage destination for centuries. St. David of Wales' feast day is March 1st.
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