THE world will celebrate the patron saint of love, Saint Valentine, next month, but did you know that Wales has its own patron saint of lovers?

Saint Dwynwen’s Day, or Dydd Santes Dwynwen, is celebrated on January 25 and although her own story didn’t have a happy ending she devoted the rest of her life to helping other lovers find happiness.

That is why lovers across Wales will celebrate the day by exchanging gifts and cards on the special day of love.

The story of the Welsh saint, who came from the bordering county to Gwent, dates back to the fifth century.

She was one of 24 daughters of Brychan Brycheiniog, the King of Brycheiniog (Brecon).

As a young woman she met Maelon Dafodrill, the son of a neighbouring king and the couple fell passionately in love. But Dwynwen was forbidden to marry Maelon by her father who refused the marriage as he had already arranged a match for her.

Maelon was furious and took his anger out on Dwynwen.

She ran away into woodland and begged God to make her forget Maelon. After crying her herself to sleep she dreamt a spirit came to her carrying a potion designed to erase all memory of Maelon and turn him into a block of ice.

The spirit then granted her three wishes.

The first wish was that for Maelon be thawed, the second that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers, and the third that she should never marry.

All three wishes were fulfilled, and as a mark of her thanks, Dwynwen devoted herself to God’s service for the rest of her life.

She set up a convent on the island of Ynys Llanddwyn, off the coast of Anglesey.

The remains of the church can still be seen today and you can walk to the island, which is accessible at low tide, and the Tŵr Mawr lighthouse.

If you aren’t able to make a pilgrimage to Llanddwyn this Saint Dwynwen’s Day you can have a romantic break in a lighthouse closer to home.

You can spent the night in the West Usk Lighthouse in Newport which is a B&B with four bedrooms. One room has a four poster bed and one has a water bed.

The fully restored lighthouse is run as a unique and cosy bed and breakfast hotel and wedding venue.

Find out more at

Lots of businesses and organisations in the region are in the mood for love as they celebrate this special day.

If you don’t have time to go away then join Menter Iaith Blaenau Gwent, Monmouthshire and Torfaen as they are hosting a special meal to celebrate St Dwynwen’s day at the Unicorn in Pontypool on January 25.

They are offering a two course meal for £12.95, or three courses for £17.50.

To book call 01495 755861.

Cariad which will be available from Thursday.

If you’re looking to send a card to your beloved you can buy your Dwynwen cards from Doodlebug in Cwmbran priced at £2.50.

Card company The Paintbox, which is based in Usk, are also selling Dwynwen’s Day cards online.

The company is owned by Emma Cresimo from Magor and she is behind the publishing of the cards.

She said: “This is my second year of making Dwynwen cards. There aren’t many places doing Welsh cards and I noticed a gap in the market. We sold out last year and we have added more to the range this year.”

Find out more at

Menter Iaith Casnewydd are working with the Coleg Cymraeg and will be holding activities throughout the day on January 25 at the Newport City Campus of the University of South Wales located on Usk Way.

Throughout the day they are encouraging people to use #CaruTi on social media to show their love.

The organisation will also run a family fun session in the Fourteen Locks Canal Centre where there will be the chance to make Dwynwen crafts.

The session costs from £2 and runs from 10am to 12pm. To book call 01633 432101.