Barry Chindouche here again with more education than Europe and Asia, combined. Today, the 1st of March, is Saint David’s day. I thought I’d educate the uneducated about this holiest of figures.
Saint David was not born a saint. He was baptised Jake Jones in the year of his birth, 500AD, in Pembrokeshire, Wales. After a troublesome birth, complicated by a lack of proper sterile equipment, Jake had a fairly innocuous childhood. Aside from some petty theft from the local sweetshop1, the young Jake was rarely in trouble2.
Jake’s first interest in the bible came during a school visit by the Gideon society. As they handed him a small red bible, they told him that it might be full of money and so he should save it if there was ever a house fire. By a cruel twist of fate, the Jones family household did indeed burn to the ground that night. Jake grabbed his Gideon bible and dashed out into the garden3. His anger at the lack of money inside was tempered by the verse his eyes came to rest on - “For those that are holy, get riches in heaven”.
Jake Jones dedicated his life to trying to get into heaven. When he learnt that Saint Jake had been taken4, he changed his name to David Jones by deed poll. It was lucky that he did, as he died just 13 years later - had he not changed his name, he would never have been made a saint.
Saint David’s day
St. David became the patron saint of Wales, and his feastday is celebrated on the 1st of March every year by the Welsh (and the Argentine’s). Typical celebrations include drinking Daffodil Wine, throwing the horseshoe and mud dancing.
Happy Saint David’s day everyone. And, for the welsh out there: Penblwydd hapus i chi5.
2which was crucial in helping him gain his Saintdom later in life
3forsaking his ailing mother, who died as a result
4Saint Jake, patron saint of whales, c. 239 - 338 AD
5for more information on the Welsh language, see future post "Three L's, two Y's and a C - a scrabble nightmare or a love spoon?"