The coast of Wales has at its most western point one of the oldest Christian centers in the British Isles: St. David’s, in use for 1500 years.
According to stories passed down, St. David was a descendant of British royalty, born about 462. David studied to be come a priest and eventually founded a monastery at St. David’s.
The monks at St. David’s followed a routine of demanding physical labor and prayer. One account explained “with hand and foot they work zealously at their tasks; they lay the yoke upon their shoulders, with untiring arms they place poles and stakes in the ground, with holy hands they carry saws and hooks for cutting. By their own strength they provide all things necessary for their community; they refuse possessions, they refuse the gifts of the unjust, abominate riches; no team of oxen is brought in for ploughing. Each one is wealth to himself and his brethren, each is an ox.”
Historian H. W. Lloyd summed up: “St. David’s, called by the Welsh Ty Ddewi, or House of David, was formerly a celebrated place of pilgrimage. Stones, marked with sculptured crosses, were set at convenient intervals on the road leading there, along the heights above the sea from Fishgard, both as guides to the traveller, and as stations for prayer along the journey. Three royal personages are named in history as having visited it in pilgrimage—William the Conqueror, Henry II, and Edward I, as well as innumerable votaries from this as well as from foreign countries.”

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