Dw i’n dy garu di

Sainte Dwynwen is the Welsh matron sainte of lovers, equivalent of Saint Valentine, of Rome.

Having lived during the fifth century, legend proclaims that Dwynwen was one of the prettiest of the 24 daughters of King Brychan Brycheiniog. Though in love with Maelon Dafodrill, a prince, Dwynwen’s father had already promised her to someone else.

So distraught that she could not marry Maelon, Dwynwen begged God to rid him from her heart and mind. Upon sleeping, Dwynwen was visited by an angel, appearing to carry an ambrosial potion concocted to erase all memory of Maelon, and to transform him into a block of ice.

For her sacrifice, God then granted Dwynwen three wishes. Her first wish was that Maelon be thawed; her second, that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers; her third, that she should never marry. All three wishes were accorded, and as a sign of her gratitude, Dwynwen devoted herself to the service of God for the rest of her life.

She founded a convent on Ynys Llanddwyn, off the western coast of Anglesey, where a well named after her became a place of pilgrimage after her death in 465 CE. Visitors to the well believed that the sacred fish or eels that lived in the well could foresee and tell whether or not their love relationships would be happy, whether lasting love had been found. Remains of Dwynwen’s church can still be seen today.

Recently, the popularity and the celebration of Sainte Dwynwen’s Day has amongst the Welsh, in particular, grown more widespread. For the truly passionate, vows of love on Sainte Dwynwen’s Day may be renewed on Saint Valentine’s Day, three weeks later.

Gadewch i ramant gynyddu a ffynnu. Gadewch i gariadon garu.