“It is thought that the foundations for the Welsh church had already been laid in late Roman Britain and “The Age of the Saints” refers to the 5th and 6th century “Celtic Saints” who journeyed along the western seaways between Brittany, Cornwall, Wales and Ireland spreading the Word”
Santes Dwynwen, Original art work by Christine Moore
This is an original 20cm x 20cm watercolour and 18 carat gold leaf, on khadi paper. It is varnished using Golden gloss archival varnish.
Santes is the female version of Sant which is Welsh for Saint. In 5th century Wales, Dwynwen was one of the prettiest daughters of
the king of south Wales-Brychan Brycheiniog. She fell in love with Maelon Dafodrill, prince from the neighbouring land, but her father had betrothed her to another prince!
Maelon did not take this rejection well and took out his anger on Dwynwen, who in despair fled into the woods and cried herself to sleep. While she slept, she dreamt a spirit came to her and told her Maelon wouldn’t trouble her further because he’d been turned into a block of ice.
The sprit then granted her three wishes;
Her first wish asked for Maelon be thawed; her second for God to help all true lovers and her third that she would never marry.
In return for the granting of these wishes she journeyed to Ynys Llanddwyn, Ynys Môn where she built a Church which became known as Llanddwyn (“Church of Dwynwen”) and she lived a reclusive and holy life. Its remains can still be seen today, along with a well, where, allegedly, a sacred fish swims, whose movements predict the future fortunes and relationships of various couples!
Her name means, ‘she who leads a blessed life’.
Dwynwen became the Welsh patron saint of love. She’s
celebrated each year on St Dwynwen’s Day, 25 January, the
Welsh equivalent of St Valentine’s Day.