St Dwynwen's Day

On the 25th of January each year, people all over Wales celebrate St Dwynwen's Day, the Welsh patron saint of lovers.

Whilst no longer recognised by the Vatican as being an official saint, Dwynwen - whose names translates to "she who leads a blessed life" - still enjoys great popularity throughout Wales, especially in her home county of Anglesey.

Whilst the occasion is still little known outside of Wales, exposure grows each year with events, dinners and special occasions being held all over the country.

The story of St Dwynwen

Ancient Church & Celtic cross, Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey

Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey by Ian

The story goes the Dwynwen was the prettiest of Welsh king Brychan Brycheiniog's twenty-four daughters. She fell in love with a man named Maelon Dafodrill, but her father had already arranged for her to marry someone else.

Distraught, Dwynwen prayed to God and asked for help in forgetting Maelon. An angel visited her in her sleep and gave her a potion to erase her memory of feelings for Maelon and turn him into a block of ice.

With each of her dreams coming true, Dwynwen devoted her life to God; she set up a convent on the island of Llanddwyn, off the coast of Anglesey. The remains of the church can still be seen on the island, along with Dwynwen's well.

It's believed the well is home to sacred fish who can predict whether couples relationships will succeed; if the fish are seen to be active when visiting the well, it was seen as a sign of a faithful husband.

God offered Dwynwen three wishes. Her first wish was that Maelon be thawed, the second that God should meet the needs of all lovers and the third that she should never marry.

The well has since become a place of pilgrimage for young Welsh lovers since Dwynwen's death in the 5th century.

Dydd santes dwynwen hapus

Celebrate St Dwynwen's Day by downloading one of our cards. Print it out and give to your favourite guy or girl.

Card 1: Download your heart card.

Card 2: Download your love spoon card.