On this day: St. Non

On this day we celebrate the feast of St. Non, mother of St. David, the patron of Wales. St. Non is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion.

St. Non was raped by Sant, the King of Ceredigion, and became pregnant. The cliff on which she gave birth to her son, now known as St. Non's Chapel, was a place of pilgrimage until (and after) the Reformation.

A journal article Jane Cartwright wrote for Medium Aevum, "Dead Virgins: Feminine Sanctity in Medieval Wales", may be read online.

Cartwright discusses the primary sources required to understand the "medieval traditions associated with Welsh holy women". She points to the "gender-based assumptions" about male and female saints and to the "political importance of saints' Lives and the way in which these narratives were used to empower the medieval dioceses, assert rights and privileges, define ecclesiastical boundaries, and establish rights of sanctuary, as well as promote the cult of a particular patron saint". Scroll halfway down to find the story of St. Non.

Jane Cartwright's book, Feminine Sanctity and Spirituality in Medieval Wales, published by the University of Wales Press in 2008, devotes a chapter to St. Non. (No search inside feature.)

Click here for information about St. Non's Retreat Centre and for pictures of sites associated with St. Non, including her Holy Well.

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