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Thought for the Week – 3rd March 2024

St David

March 1st is St David’s day, the patron saint of Wales. He lived in the 6th century and was possibly a grandson of one of the kings who ruled South Wales. It is always difficult to know for certain the history of figures such as David who lived in the Dark Ages, but he seems to have been a genuinely popular figure in South Wales, where he lived and worked as a Bishop. He founded a number of monasteries where he taught his followers a rule of particular austerity; they were to live only on a bread and water diet. I doubt this was any more attractive in 550 than it would be today, but David led by personal example and was loved for his integrity and the simplicity of his own life. Famously on his death bed, he told his followers to “do the little things that you have seen me do and heard about”. In a violent and brutal age, David was a force for good. Many miracles have been attributed to David; modern observers may be sceptical of these. However, there is one tradition about David that in its own way, is miraculous. David was said to have been born after his mother Non, was raped. Out of an act of violence and brutality, a voice of holiness and goodness spoke, a rebuke to evil. As a Christian, that is a pattern I recognise as Christ-like.

Rev David Poyner