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Santes Dwynwen- Our Very Own Patron Saint of Lovers

(Yn Cymraeg hefyd!!)


Falling on the 25 th of January every year, ‘St Dwynwen’s Day’ is Wales’ national celebratory

day of love and romance – a Welsh version of Valentine’s Day some may call it. Arguably

less popular and well-known than the anglocentric Valentine’s Day, St Dwynwen’s Day is

named after the Welsh patron saint of lovers, Dwynwen. As the story of Dwynwen has been

told over so many centuries, it is difficult to know the exact history or story. However, the

versions that are now being told across Wales are quite similar, but as the story is partly

mythological then the most important part of the story is the lesson learned from it.

During the 5 th century, there lived a king called Brychan Brycheiniog, who was the son of an Irish king. He had 34 children, and it was said that all of his daughters were beautiful. The exact number of children that he had is unknown, but each version of the story says that his children were numerous.


The most beautiful of his daughters was Dwynwen. The king and his daughters lived in Brycheiniog, which is perhaps better known as Brecon, an area in mid-Wales. The king had organised that Dwynwen was to marry an important and influential prince. However, Dwynwen had fallen in love with a common boy called Maelon Dafodrill. Some stories say that he was a local boy, whilst others say that he was from North Wales. Dwynwen intended to marry Maelon, which angered the king. The king refused to allow them to marry, and Dwynwen fleed as she was distraught and broken-hearted.


Maelon followed Dwynwen and attempted to convince her to go against her father’s commands and marry him regardless. Dwynwen refused to disobey her father, which made Maelon lose his temper. Dwynwen ran away and found shelter in the woods, where she wept and prayed to God to help her and release her from her love for Maelon. In a more adult version of the story that children are not taught in schools, Maelon allegedly threatened to rape Dwynwen in response to her refusal to marry him.


One night, whilst Dwynwen was asleep in the woods, she was visited by an angel who provided her with a potion that would make her fall out of love with Maelon. Dwynwen eagerly proceeded to drink this potion. However, she was unaware that drinking this potion would not only answer her prayers, but would also turn Maelon into a block of ice. God then proceeded to grant Dwynwen three wishes. Her first wish was for Maelon to

return to human form. Others say that her first wish was to be rid of Maelon, to which God

makes him disappear. Her second wish was that God would help all true lovers to find each

other and live happily. Her third and final wish was that she would never marry. God

granted each of these wishes true.

Learning from her own experiences, Dwynwen became a nun and wanted to help others who were suffering due to love. As a result, she went away

with her sister Cain and her brother Dyfnan and they travelled around Wales, preaching and

establishing churches. They then sailed to a little island off Anglesey, and set up a small

church on the island. The place is known today as Llanddwyn (Dwynwen’s Church) and there are remains of the church on the island, which you are able to visit and see for yourself. Many other girls who had suffered due to love came to visit Dwynwen, which established her role as the patron saint of lovers here in Wales. Whilst it is unknown why exactly we celebrate St Dwynwen’s Day on the 25 th of January each year, the story of Dwynwen was bought back to prominence during the 1970s in opposition to Valentine’s Day, which created a national day that was more specifically aimed towards Welsh people.


Whilst we celebrate St Dwynwen’s Day here in Wales in a similar manner to Valentine’s Day, sending each other cards, or giving flowers or gifts, one traditional Welsh gift that is given is

a lovespoon, which is a hand-crafted decorative spoon carved out of wood.

So this year, rather than waiting until February 14 th to tell your loved one how you feel, why

not celebrate on January 25 th instead, to thank and remember Wales’ patron saint of lovers,Dwynen.


Written by Megan Finch


Santes Dwynwen- Ein Noddwr Saint Cariadon


Mae Dydd Santes Dwynwen ar y 25ain o Ionawr bob blwyddyn, yn ddydd dathlu

cariad a rhamant yn genedlaethol yng Nghymru – gellir ei alw’n fersiwn Cymraeg o

Ddydd San Ffolant. Er, yn llai poblogaidd a llai adnabyddus na’r Dydd San Ffolant

Saesneg, cafodd Dydd Santes Dwynwen ei enwi ar ôl Dwynwen, nawddsant cariadon

Cymru. Gan fod stori Dwynwen wedi ei hadrodd dros ganrifoedd lawer, mae’n

anodd gwybod beth yw’r gwir hanes neu’r wir stori. Beth bynnag, mae’r fersiynau

sy’n awr yn cael eu hadrodd ledled Cymru yn eithaf tebyg, ond gan fod y stori’n

rhannol yn fytholegol, yna, rhan bwysicaf y stori yw’r wers a ddysgir ganddi.


Yn ystod y 5ed ganrif, roedd brenin o’r enw Brychan Brycheiniog yn byw ac roedd yn

fab i frenin o Iwerddon. Roedd ganddo 34 o blant, a dywedir bod ei ferched yn hardd

dros ben. Nid wyddom faint yn union o blant oedd ganddo, ond mae pob fersiwn o’r

stori’n dweud bod ei blant yn niferus.


Yr harddaf o’i ferched oedd Dwynwen. Roedd y brenin a’i ferched yn byw ym Mrycheiniog, sy’n fwy adnabyddus fel Aberhonddu, ardal yng Nghanolbarth Cymru. Roedd y brenin wedi trefnu bod Dwynwen yn priodi tywysog pwysig a dylanwadol. Beth bynnag, roedd Dwynwen wedi syrthio mewn cariad â bachgen cyffredin o’r enw Maelon Dafodrill. Mae rhai o’r storïau’n dweud mai bachgen lleol ydoedd, eraill yn dweud ei fod yn dod o Ogledd Cymru. Bwriadai Dwynwen briodi Maelon a gwnaeth hyn y brenin yn grac. Gwrthododd y brenin

ganiatau iddynt briodi a ffodd Dwynwen gan ei bod yn torri ei chalon ac mewn galar

mawr.


Dilynodd Maelon Dwynwen a cheisio ei pherswadio i fynd yn erbyn

gorchmynion ei thad a’i briodi beth bynnag. Gwrthododd Dwynwen anufuddhau i’w

thad a pharodd hyn i Faelon golli ei dymer. Rhedodd Dwynwen i ffwrdd a daeth o hyd

i gysgod yn y goedwig lle roedd yn wylo ac yn gweddïo ar i Dduw ei helpu a’i

rhyddhau o’i chariad at Faelon. Mewn fersiwn mwy aeddfed o’r stori na ddysgir i

blant mewn ysgolion, dywedir i Faelon fygwth treisio Dwynwen am iddi wrthod ei

briodi.


Un noson, tra’r oedd Dwynwen yn cysgu yn y goedwig, ymwelodd angel â hi a

roddodd ddiod arbennig iddi a fyddai’n gwneud iddi anghofio am Faelon. Yfodd

Dwynwen y ddiod yn eiddgar. Beth bynnag, nid oedd yn ymwybodol bod yfed y ddiod

arbennig yma nid yn unig yn ateb ei gweddïau ond hefyd yn troi Maelon yn dalp o

rew.Yna, fe roddodd Duw dri dymuniad i Dwynwen. Ei dymuniad cyntaf oedd bod Maelon

yn dychwelyd i’w ffurff dynol. Dywed fersiynau eraill mai ei dymuniad cyntaf oedd

cael gwared ar Faelon a gwnaeth Duw iddo ddiflannu. Ei hail ddymuniad oedd fod

Duw yn helpu gwir gariadon i ddarganfod ei gilydd a byw yn hapus. Ei thrydydd

dymuniad a’r olaf, oedd na fyddai byth yn priodi. Gwnaeth Duw bob un o’r

dymuniadau yma’n wir.


Wedi dysgu trwy ei phrofiadau hi ei hun, daeth Dwynwen yn lleian ac roedd am helpu eraill oedd yn dioddef oherwydd cariad. O ganlyniad, aeth i ffwrdd gyda’i chwaer Cain a’i brawd Dyfnan a theithiasant o gwmpas Cymru, yn pregethu a sefydlu eglwysi. Yna, hwyliasant i ynys fechan oddi ar arfordir Ynys Môn a sefydlu eglwys fach ar yr ynys. Gelwir y lle’n Llanddwyn (eglwys Dwynwen) heddiw ac mae olion eglwys ar yr ynys a gellwch ymweld â hi a gweld trosoch chi eich hun. Daeth llawer o ferched eraill oedd wedi dioddef oherwydd cariad i ymweld â Dwynwen a sefydlodd hyn ei rôl fel nawddsant cariadon yma yng Nghymru.


Er nad oes sicrwydd pam yn union rydym yn dathlu Dydd Santes Dwynwen ar y 25ain o

Ionawr bob blwyddyn, daethpwyd â stori Dwynwen nôl i’r amlwg yn ystod 1970au i

wrthwynebu Dydd San Ffolant a chreu diwrnod cenedlaethol oedd wedi ei anelu’n

arbennig at y Cymry.


Er ein bod ni’n dathlu Dydd Santes Dwynwen yma yng Nghymru mewn modd tebyg

iawn i ddydd San Ffolant drwy anfon cardiau at ein gilydd neu drwy roi blodau neu

roddion, rhoddir un anrheg Cymraeg traddodiadol sef llwy serch, llwy bren wedi’i

haddurno a’i cherfio â llaw.


Felly eleni, yn hytrach nag aros nes y 14eg o Chwefror i ddweud wrth eich cariad sut

rydych chi’n teimlo, pam na ddathlwch ar y


Ysgrifenwyd gan Megan Finch

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