St David (Dewi/Dafydd) founded an austere monastery very reminiscent of the Desert Fathers in a small hidden valley at St David’s in Pembrokeshire. The monks tilled the land, pulling the plough themselves without animals; they ate their bread with salt and herbs and water only, and that only at evening time. They prayed for much of the night.
St David as a monastic founder and teacher, and as Bishop, became the leader of the church in South Wales. As an ascetic himself he opposed the teaching of Pelagius at the Synod of Brevi. Llanddewi was a very early religious site: it maybe a stone in the outside of the church tower may refer to him.
The cathedral gives a great sense of stability and tranquillity to the place. King Edward I came to pray at St David’s shrine in 1284. It was destroyed at the Reformation but the place where it was can still be seen in the cathedral.
Troparion Tone 8
O miracleworker, founder of monasteries and converter of pagans
you lived the strict life with your many brethren
you advanced the Gospel wherever you went;
at synod, as Bishop, you ordered the church.
O Holy David, Wales greatly needs your prayers.