For further information about St David's Shrine please click on the headings below:

A Brief History

St David

Nave stone carving of St David

David was born in the year 500, the son of St Non and a prince of Ceredigion.  Legend states that Non gave birth to him on a cliff top during a violent storm.  The present cathedral stands on the site of the monastery he founded in the inhospitable area known as 'Glyn Rhosyn.'  David and his followers lived a simple life; they refrained from eating meat or drinking beer.  David's symbol, now a national symbol of Wales, is the leek.

David rose to become a bishop in the church and made several pilgrimages including one to Jerusalem during which, tradition states, he brought back with him a stone which now sits in an altar in the south transept of the cathedral.

The best known miracle associated with David is said to have taken place when he was preaching in the middle of a large crowd at the Synod of Llanddewi Brefi.  When those at the back complained that they could not hear him, the ground on which he stood is reputed to have risen up to form a small hill so that everyone had a good view.  A white dove settled on his shoulder, a sign of God's grace and blessing.

David died in the year 589 and the monastery is said to have been 'filled with angels as Christ received his soul'.  His final words to his followers were: 'Be Joyful.  Keep the Faith.  Do the little things that you have heard and seen me do.'

St David's Shrine

Front of the shrine before its restoration in 2012

In the twelfth century Pope Calixtus II declared St Davids Cathedral to be a place of pilgrimage.  It was at this time that the medieval shrine was constructed and situated in the presbytery, close to the High Altar.  Pope Calixtus II also stated that the shrine was so important that two pilgrimages to St Davids were equivalent to one to Rome, three were equivalent to one to Jerusalem.  Since then the path of pilgrimage has been trodden by hundreds of thousands of individuals.  The destruction of the Shrine during the reformation caused a steep decline in this important religious practice; however, throughout the periods of religious and political turmoil pilgrims have continued to visit the site.

The Shrine Appeal

In September 2010 the Very Reverend Jonathan Lean, Dean of St Davids, launched The Shrine Appeal to raise £150,000 to restore the medieval shrine of St David. Seven Shrine Guardians were appointed to oversee the project and artists, all of whom live in West Wales, were commissioned to undertake the work.

(Chwilio Manwl/Advanced Search)  


Copyright St Davids Cathedral - Site design Aukett Brockliss Guy