We know so little about St. David, but what has come down to us is remarkably rich and revealing. It is almost like a kind of formula or algorithm : keep the faith, be joyful and remember the little things. Amongst the things we remember is that his monks were required to drink only water and eat no meat and pull the plough themselves rather than use oxen. David - 'Aquaticus ' - is a saint who, above all, urges us to remember and explore water as a powerful symbol of the divine. Water features in many of the stories about him. He must have preached many times on the theme of water and reflecting on water and lent we are reminded that Jesus, having been baptised by St John goes into the desert 'full of the Holy Spirit'. In his teaching Jesus frequently refers to water or uses water, and describes himself as 'living water'. In the Sacred Heart we remember that the heart of Jesus was pierced by a lance and that out came blood and water. Without that living water we live in a desert and in a continual state of thirst. David - the water man, Ddyfrwr - must have used the idea of water as a key metaphor in his preaching and no doubt he would have much to say about the water which flows from Christ's heart. Every time his monks drank their cold (black) water they must have been prompted to think of the living water from the heart of Jesus. This was their joy and the faith.
|Mosaic by Ifor Davies, Westminster Cathedral,|
Blessed by Benedict XVI, September 18th 2010 **
**At the blessing of this mosaic by Ifor Davies, Pope Benedict had this to say about Dewi Sant:
'Saint David was one of the greatest saints of the 6th century, that golden age of saints and missionaries in these isles, and he was thus a founder of the Christian culture which lies at the root of modern Europe. David’s preaching was simple yet profound: his dying words to his monks were, ‘Be joyful, keep the faith and do the little things’. It is the little things that reveal out love for the one who loved us first (cf. 1 Jn 4:19) and that bind people into a community of faith, love and service. May Saint David’s message, in all its simplicity and richness, continue to resound in Wales today, drawing the hearts of its people to renewed love for Christ and his Church.'
The Pope ended his greeting with the words: 'Bendith Duw ar bobol Cymru! God bless the people of Wales!'