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Dwynwen


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Patron saint (5th cent.) of lovers in Wales, whose feast-day is 25 January. Daughter of King Brychan of Brecknockshire, Powys, Dwynwen is most associated with the small island of Llanddwyn in Gwynedd, on Anglesey, where her name is commemorated in place-names, and also Glamorganshire. The best-known story about her dates from Iolo Morganwg ( Edward Williams) in the early 19th century. Dwynwen was in love with a youth named Maelon but displeased him by rejecting his sexual advances. She prayed to God to release her from the liaison, even though her love was undiminished. God appeared and offered her a sweet drink, which quenched her passion but which proved to turn Maelon to ice once he had tasted it. Dwynwen was then granted three wishes, which were (1) to revive Maelon, (2) to become the patron saint of lovers, and (3) never to marry. She later became a nun. As a saint her name is also invoked in the curing of animals.

Subjects: Religion.


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