Home > Worship Resources > Festivals & Commemorations > David, Bishop of Menevia, Wales, c. 544 (March 1)

About the Commemoration

David (the English approximation of the Welsh Dewi), the patron of Wales, is the best known and best loved of its many saints. Little is known of his life. He was born and ordained in Wales, and, after traveling and founding twelve monasteries, he settled at Menevia, where he founded the monastery since known as St. David’s. These monasteries became centers for the spread of Christianity and bastions of learning, justice, and good order in a hostile environment. The monastic rule was very strict and the monks spent much time in prayer, worship, and good works. David is traditionally known as “the Waterman,” perhaps because he insisted that his monks abstain from other drink or because he is said to have immersed himself daily in cold water in order to subdue the desires of the flesh. He is said to have made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was there consecrated bishop. At the Council of Brefi in Cardigan he was recognized as primate of Wales in place of Dubricius. Toward the end of his life he had several Irish saints as his pupils at the monastery. A life of St. David was written by Rhigyfarch ca. 1090, but its reliability is dubious.

David was included on the calendar in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.

Excerpts from New Book of Festivals & Commemorations: A Proposed Common Calendar of Saints by Philip H. Pfatteicher, copyright, 2008 by Fortress Press, an imprint of Augsburg Fortress.

See also: Saint David


From The Life of St. David by Rhigyfarch

The father himself, overflowing with daily fountains of tears, and fragrant with a twofold flame of charity, consecrated with pure hands the due oblation of the Lord’s Body. After matins, he proceeded alone to hold converse with the angels…. The whole of the day he spent, inflexibly and unweariedly, in teaching, praying, genuflecting, and in care for the brethren; also in feeding a multitude of orphans, wards, widows, needy, sick, feeble, and pilgrims: so he began; so he continued; so he ended…. To all men the holy bishop David was the supreme overseer, the supreme protector, the supreme preacher, from whom all received their standard and pattern of living virtuously. To all he was their regulator, he was their dedication, he was their benediction, he was their absolution, their reformation. To the studious, he was instruction; to the needy, life; to the orphans, upbringing; to widows, support; to fathers, a leader; to monks, he was their rule; to non-monastic clergy, the way of life; to all he was all things…. With what blaze of excellence did he shine!

D. A. Foster, The Anglican Year (London: Skeffington, 1953), 133.


Almighty God, you called your servant David to be a faithful and wise steward of your mysteries for the people of Wales: Mercifully grant that, following his purity of life and zeal for the whole Gospel of Christ, we may with him receive your heavenly reward; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

The Church in Wales, rev. DvD; LFF

Readings: Psalm 16:5-11 or 96:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 2:2b-12; Mark 4:26-29

Hymn of the Day:Guide me, O thou great Jehovah” (H82 690, LBW 344, LSB 918, ELW 618) (the only Welsh hymn in common use)

Prayers: For the church in Wales; For the people and leaders of Wales; For the spirit of simplicity and austerity.

Preface: Apostles (BCP)

Color: White