The Patron Saint of Poets: St David of Wales

The Patron Saint of Poets: St David of Wales March 1, 2015

David Russell Mosley

Lent

Second Sunday in Lent

St David’s Day

1 March 2015

The Edge of Elfland

Hudson, New Hampshire

Dear Friends and Family,

Something Lauren and I decided to do this year is to celebrate Name Days. It’s primarily a Catholic and Orthodox practice, but a good one, I think. Sadly, we didn’t decide to do this until Lauren’s, Theodore’s, and Edwyn’s name days were already passed. I may, on another day, go into more detail about what a Name Day is and how it is or can be celebrated, but today I’ll keep things simple. In short, a Name Day is a day to celebrate the saint after whom you are named (whether or not that was intentional). It isn’t a practice everyone can celebrate, but that shouldn’t stop us who can. The really important thing is to remember the saint anyway.

So today is my Name Day. St David of Wales was a sixth century monk and later archbishop of Wales.St David was actually called Dewi but when his name was latinised it became Davus and eventually David. He is remembered for many things: his simplicity of life in his monasticism, his poetry, and his preaching against the Pelagian heresy. He is credited with expelling Pelagianism (a works based salvation, suggesting we can attain perfection and salvation without the aid of grace) from Wales.

I can’t remember who first suggested it, but someone had suggested to me writing a poem in honour of my namesake, and so that is what I have done. I present to you my first annual St David’s Day Poem.

O Cymric saint by none forgotten,

Patron of Poets, my prayer do hear,

As I try to write a few words devoted

To you. O Saint of God, do draw near.

Son of a King by power revolted,

The monastic habit you chose to wear.

You preached against accurséd heresy.

Then the ground uprose, the dove descended;

That dove who is the Spirit Holy.

Lowly Earth to its Poet ascended

To meet the dove who on the Lord

First landed, to teach us His divinity.

Pray for us poets who speak the Word.

Pray we may attain, by Grace, eternity.

Pray in the name of the Holy Lord,

Father, Son, and Spirit, most holy Trinity.

Amen.

Sincerely yours,

David


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