Wait, what? Valentine’s Day isn’t for another month! Ah, but here in Wales we actually have our own saint when it comes to love – Santes (Saint) Dwynwen. So, I thought I’d share her story with you guys! (And it means I can get back into Tales of the Mabinogi).
So, who was Santes Dwynwen? There are a number of variations on her story, but the basics are all pretty similar. During the 5th century, a young girl called Dwynwen fell in love with a man named Maelon Dafodrill, and he loved her too. However, her father refused to let the two marry and so she was heartbroken. So heartbroken in fact, that she prayed to fall out of love with Marlon.
Dwynwen’s prayer was answered and an angel appeared to her in the woods. He gave her a potion that would make her forget her feelings for Maelon and, as an extra, he turned Maelon into a block of ice. God then granted her three wishes. The first thing she wished for was that Maelon would be thawed. Secondly, she asked that God fulfills the hopes and dreams of all true love. Finally, she wished that she would never marry.
Dwynwen ended up becoming a nun, and she built her own church – Llanddwyn. The remains are still there, along with Dwynwen’s well. Couples often go there today to make a wish there.
And that is the story of Santes Dwynwen.