Montreal Daily Star,  1 March 1897, page 6

St David’s Anniversary.

Montreal’s Welsh Citizens observe the day.

The story of the patron saint of Wales

A National concert taking place this evening.

The Welsh citizens of Montreal will to-day celebrate the anniversary of their patron saint, St David, by a festival at Drummond Hall.  The festival will have special features in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s reign.  A concert will be given, beginning at 7:30 in the evening, and refreshments will be served at 9:15.  The chairman of the meeting will be Rev. Eamon C. Evans, DD; the accompanist, Mr. Edward Brome; harpist, Mrs. Parratt, and orchestral director, Capt. Benyon.  Following will be the soloists: Sopranoes, Mrs. R Roberts and Miss Battersby.  Contralto, Miss SG Pritchard.  Tenors, Mr. Richard Roberts, Mr. M Lloyd Roberts, Mr. Robt. T Williams, and Mr. Hunt.  Baritones, Mr. Arthur Jones and Mr. M Pritchard.  Basso, Mr. William Lister.

St David, in whose honour the day obtains its name, flourished in the latter part of the fifth or the beginning of the sixth century and was, according to tradition, the son of Prince of Ceretica.  The narrative of St David’s life is overlaid with legendary matter to an unusual extent.  According to the earlier accounts, he possessed the power of working miracles, he was eighteenth in descent from the Virgin Mary and he was attended by an angel in his infancy.  There are many other details given which must be regarded as extremely doubtful.

At any rate, having early resolved on a religious life, St David spent, as was customary in those days, a probationary period in solitude, after which he commenced preaching to his countrymen.  He built a chapel at Glastonbury and founded twelve monasteries, the chief of which was at Menevia, in the vale of Ross, near his native place, which was distinguished by the severity of its rule.  His fame as a theologian led to his being summoned to the Synod of Brefi to confute the Pelagian heretics.  So well did he acquit himself of the task that the Synod elected him Archbishop of Carlton and Primate of Wales—Dubricus, the occupant of the See, having resigned to make way for him.  Soon after his election St David found it necessary to convene another synod, which is styled in the annals the “Synod of Victory” so complete was the triumph obtained over the Pelagians, and was buried in the church of St David’s.  His shrine is to be seen in the existing cathedral at St David’s in South Wales.

Recent criticism, while admitting that St David founded a See at Menevia, and that he probably took an active part in the undoubtedly historical synod of Brefi, has discredited his archiepiscopal jurisdiction.  This is almost certainly the invention of those in a later age who wished to maintain the independence of the Welsh Church, and supremacy in the Church of the See of St David’s.  St David was canonized by Pope Calixtus II, in the twelfth century.  His festival is celebrated on March 1st of each year.

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