St Dwynwen’s Day

Here in Wales, we have another opportunity to celebrate love. January 25 is St Dwynwen’s Day. She is saint of Welsh lovers.

But who was Dwynwen?

According to the story, Dwyn or Dwynwen was one of Brychan Brycheiniog’s daughters. She lived in the sixth century. She was a very beautiful girl and many young men had fallen in love with her.

One young man, called Maelon, loved Dwynwen and wanted her as a partner. But Dwynwen was not interested in Maelon. So Maelon kidnapped her and raped her.

Dwynwen was very sad. While she cried, an angel came to her. The angel said that God had turned Maelon into a lump of ice because he was so cold hearted. But Dwynwen asked an angel to turn him into a man again.

Dwynwen said she wanted to forget about Maelon and for lovers. She wanted to work for God, she said. So, the angel sent her to North Wales and Dwynwen came to Anglesey.

She went to live on a small peninsula – Ynys Llanddwyn near Newborough today. This was where she lived and worked. She became a saint and then the patron saint of lovers.

In the Middle Ages, lovers used to go to Llanddwyn to pray for Dwywen’s help. Today, if you go to Llanddwyn, you can see the remains of the church and well of Dwynwen.

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