St Aidan and the Sea Monster

On the evening before Easter, St Aidan was visited by an angel in his monastery in Ferns. The angel warned him that his old friend and mentor, St David, would be poisoned during the Easter feast. St Aidan was panicked but could do nothing about it. There was no way he could sail across the Irish Sea in time to save his friend.

Hearing this, the angel told him to send one of his trusted companions to the beach. St Aidan complied and sent one of his fellow monks. The monk found the angel standing not beside a boat but next to a massive sea monster! This monster carried the monk across the rough waters of the Irish Sea to Pembrokeshire.

The monk made it to St. David just as the Easter feast began. After hearing the Wexford monk’s story, St David lifted the poisoned bread in front of everyone and divided it into three pieces. He gave the first piece to a dog who died immediately. The second piece he gave to a crow, who also died. St David then blessed the third piece and ate it! To the shock of everyone in the room, St David did not die. His powerful blessing had saved him.

Thanks to the warning from the angel, St Aidan, and the Wexford monk, the patron saint of Wales survived. This solidified the friendship between St Aidan and St David and the bond between Ferns and Pembrokeshire.


The Life of St David by Richard Sharpe and J. R Davies in St David of Wales: Cult, Church and Nation, edited by J. Wyn Evans and Jonathan M. Wooding.


Tara Clarke, “St Aidan and the Sea Monster,” Ancient Connections, accessed August 8, 2023,