St. David of Wales in New England

The Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem®

Overview

The Priory of St. David of Wales in New England was created by the Autonomous Grand Priory of the United States of America. We are a modern Christian Order of Knighthood dedicated to::

  • Seeking God in our lives and promoting love and respect for our community.
  • Increasing understanding between religions, helping pilgrims visit holy places, and maintaining a Christian presence in the Holy Land.
  • Supporting the poor, sick, and unjustly accused; standing against oppression, and protecting freedom of speech.
  • Encouraging the noble ideas of Chivalry; maintaining the monuments, archives, and history of the Knights Templar.

Saint David lived in the 6th Century AD. He was the son of one of the minor Kings of Ceredigion. David was educated at Whitland in Carmarthenshire under Saint Paulinus of Wales. He became renowned as a teacher and preacher, founding monastic settlements and churches in Wales, Cornwall and Brittany in a period when neighboring tribal regions were still mostly pagan. He rose to a bishopric, and presided over two synods, as well as going on pilgrimages to Jerusalem and Rome. St David's Cathedral now stands on the site of the monastery he founded in the remote valley of Glyn Rhosyn in Pembrokeshire.

The Monastic Rule of David prescribed that monks had to pull the plow themselves without draught animals; to drink only water; to eat only bread with salt and herbs; and to spend the evenings in prayer, reading and writing. No personal possessions were allowed. He lived a simple life and practiced asceticism, teaching his followers to refrain from eating meat or drinking beer. His symbol, also the symbol of Wales, is the leek.

David had a remarkably long life for that period. He died on a Tuesday, the first of March 589 which is now St. David's Day. The monastery is said to have been filled with angels as Christ received his soul. His last words to his followers were in a sermon on the previous Sunday. His words have meaning for us today: “Be joyful, and keep your faith and your creed. Do the little things that you have seen me do and heard about. I will walk the path that our fathers have trod before us.”

The Priory of St. David of Wales in New England has adopted the words “Do the little things in life” as our motto in Welsh upon our coat of arms to honor the Saint whose name we bear.”


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