David's Most Famous Monastery
David knew exactly where to build his monastery; he had been told by an angel (just as his father Sant had been told). The place was called Vallis Rosina (known as Glyn Rhosyn in Welsh). It was an excellent place to build a monastery. Set in a valley on the west coast of Pembrokeshire (Wales) it was hidden from the view of attackers, but visitors from afar could travel there by sea, stopping at the nearby busy ports of Porth Mawr and Porth Clais. Roman roads still led to Vallis Rosina and a river ran through the valley providing fresh water.
Battles with Boia
David was eager to start building his monastery. One fine day he took three of his friends, Aidan, Eliud and Ismael, and some other monks to the site the angel had told him about. As dusk began to fall they lit a fire. Grey wisps of smoke arose and circled the area.
Nearby lived an Irish chieftain called Boia. From his fortress he was able to see the smoke. He began to worry. Like many Celtic people he believed that the land which the smoke covered was ruled by the person who lit the fire. The smoke from this fire spread far and wide!
Boia feared that he would no longer be in charge. He was so upset that he lost his appetite - most unusual for a powerful warrior!
His wife asked him what was the matter. When he told her about his worries she said," Take your servants and kill the men with your swords!" Boia thought this was a good idea and set off with his men.
However, on their way they were struck down with a fever which took all their strength away. Unable to fight, they shouted angrily at David and the rest of the monks, hoping to frighten them away.
When Boia and his men returned home they were met by Boia's wife. She told him that their cattle had suddenly died. They realised that this was a result of their evil actions and went back to the monks to ask their forgiveness and tell them that they could have the land to build their monastery. David was pleased and, using powers given to him by God, he brought the cattle back to life.
Boia wanted to forget about the incident, but his wife wanted revenge. She
told her maids to try to trick the monks into leaving. The monks realised what
the girls were trying to do. They pleaded with David to find somewhere else
to build the monastery, but he told them they were staying; this was where God
wanted them to be.
Boia's wife was furious when her plan had failed. She later mysteriously disappeared
and was not seen again. Boia was killed when his fortress was burned down by
one of his enemies.
David was then able to build his monastery in peace - just as his guardian angel had said. He and the other monks worked hard from dusk until dawn. David was a hard task master. The monks were not allowed to talk unless it was absolutely necessary. David had told them that when they were working they should be thinking about God. David called the monastery Menevia.
The monastery David built no longer exists. However, there is now a beautiful cathedral built on the site where David originally built his monastery. This cathedral is called St. David's Cathedral.
Drawing by Rachel (age 9)