Dwynwen was said to be one of the legendary 5th century King of Brecon, Brychan Brycheiniog's, many daughters. She fell in love with a north Walian prince, Maelon Dyfodrull, whom her father forbid her from marrying. Dwynwen ran away from home but, ultimately, couldn't disobey her father and be with Maelon without his consent.
In the child friendly version of the tale a frustrated Maelon quarrels with Dwynwen, showing her his true colours. The less child friendly account tells us that Maelon attempted to rape our heroine. Either way, Dwynwen prayed to God to maker her forget Maelon / save her from his unwanted advances. Her prayers were answered when Maelon was turned to ice and an angel appeared, ready to grant her three wishes:
First, Dwynwen wished for Maelon to be thawed, pardoned and released from his passion for her. Next, clearly having been put off the idea, she wished that she would never marry. Finally, she wished that she could help other lovers suffering from the anguish of love.
To fulfill the latter Dwynwen, along with her sister Cain and her brother Dyfnan, traveled around Wales, preaching and establishing churches. Eventually Dwynwen, now a nun, settled on a small island off the west coast of Anglesey, which came to be known as Llanddwyn (the church of St Dwynwen) and as a place of pilgrimage for young lovers.
The idea of turning St Dwynwen's Day into a St Valentine's Day rival has been slowly growing in popularity since the 1970s. These days you can buy cards in the shops, and Anthony knows better than to let the occasion pass by unmarked...
|I found these waiting for me when I got in from work :)|
Do you celebrate St Dwynwen's Day?