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HappyValentine'sDay|©LisaStevens/Flickr
HappyValentine'sDay|©LisaStevens/Flickr

Everything You Need to Know About St Dwynwen's Day

Picture of Hannah Freeman
Updated: 11 December 2017
Called, ‘The Welsh St Valentine’s Day’, St Dwynwen’s Day falls on January 25 and celebrates the Welsh patron saint of lovers. One of the Celtic saints, she was born in the 5th century and was the daughter of South Wales’ King, Brychan Brycheiniog.

The legend goes that the pious Dwynwen was romanced by a Prince called Maelon Dafodrill, who had fallen in love with her. Longing for a life dedicated to God, and not wanting to marry him, an angel appeared as she prayed for help and offered her a potion to give him, which immediately turned him to ice. Dwynwyn then asked God for three wishes, the first that Maelon be released from his ice curse; second, that God look after all lovers, through her; and finally, that she never marry. She then retreated to an island off the west coast of Anglesey called Ynys Llanddwyn, and became a hermit until her death in 465 AD.

The island soon became a place of Medieval pilgrimage and the cult of St Dwynwen began.

St Dwynwen’s Cross