Yesterday (2nd March) was Saint Non's day. It's a day often overlooked in Wales but celebrated in Brittany. Parthian's intern, Corentin Orhant, who hails from Brittany, decided to find out a little more about the remarkable life of the mother of Saint David, our patron saint.
(Portrait of St Non in stained glass at the Chapel of Our Lady St Non, Pembrokeshire, Wales: By Thruxton - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7488499 )
Born in Pembrokeshire, Wales in the 5th Century AD, she died in the 6th Century AD in Brittany, France. According to legend she was raped by Sanctus, King of Ceredigion and David was the product of that rape. After this she survived alone, eating bread and drinking water. One day, St Non met a preacher, but he found himself unable to preach in the presence of her unborn child, which was taken as a sign that the child would be a great preacher himself. When a local ruler learned about this, he plotted to kill Saint Non, scared of the power the child could have if he would be born.
But the day the plot was to happen, a great storm made it impossible for everyone to leave their home. Only the place where St Non was, was bathed in light. It is said that her birth-pangs were so horrible, St Non left marks on the stone she was grasping, and that the stone had 'split asunder'. A church was built where St David was born, and the rock was used for the altar.
Today, there are multiple churches and chapels named after her. The Chapel of Our Lady and St Non was built near the ruin of St Non’s Chapel. There is also a church named after her in Dirinon, France, the city where she lived and died after escaping Wales.
Dirinon means Non’s Land.