Miracles of David
Life at the monastery was not easy. One summer the monks complained to David that the river flowing through the valley had run dry. David went to a quiet place and talked about this with his guardian angel and he prayed to God. As he prayed he heard the sound of rippling water - a spring of fresh water had burst through the soil. The water turned into wine and was used by the monks for holy communion.
One of the local farmers also visited David telling him how hard his work had become because the soil on his land had become so dry. He begged David to help and, once again, David was able to produce a spring of very clear, cold water.
David's monastery became well-known throughout the land. Many young men came
there wanting to learn more about Jesus. One of these monks was a man called
Aidan (who was also known as Madoc). He was keen to do his best and became
a good friend to David. Aidan spent much time studying. When the weather was
fine he would take his book outside and read in the fields. One beautiful morning,
whilst he was studying a book about God, David told him to take the wagon and
oxen to the valley to get some timber. Aidan rushed to do the job, leaving his
book lying open on the grass.
After securing the timber to the wagon he quickly began his journey back to the monastery. The coastal road was dangerous and, in his haste, he and his load fell off a steep rock face and went hurtling towards the sea. Trembling with fear he prayed to God. Aidan knew that God had the power to save his life - his faith was strong. Miraculously he was saved from the waves and rocks beneath him.
As he looked around in relief storm clouds gathered above him. Suddenly the grey clouds burst with rain, quickly filling the ditches with water. Aidan had been saved from death but the unexpected rain gave him another problem - the book he had left in the field would be ruined. Books were precious, each one took the monks many months to write out.
When he returned to the monastery he set the oxen free and ran to the field. God had known of Aidan's fear and knew how much he and the other monks cared for their books. Aidan was amazed to find that the book lay as he had left it; its pages had not been moved with the wind, not a drop of rain had touched it.
When the rest of the monks heard of Aidan's adventure they praised God and David, their leader. All their hard work was rewarded knowing that God cared for them and protected them.
* * * * *
Aidan was a humble, obedient monk who listened carefully and was keen to learn. The monks in the monastery lived a hard life. They prayed for many hours but they also worked in the fields providing food for the poor. Their work also included keeping the roads to the monastery in good condition so that pilgrims and traders were able to visit the monastery.
One day Aidan was digging a road on a hillside near the monastery. He noticed that one of the other monks was not busy and asked him why he was not making more effort. The other worker became angry. In temper he grabbed one of his iron work tools ready to hit Aidan. David was watching from a distance and realised what was going to happen. He made the Sign of the Cross and raised his hand towards the two men. Immediately the angry man's hand withered. Once again God had given David the power to work a miracle.
Aidan and the bees
One of Aidan's special duties was to look after the bee hives in David's monastery. The sweet honey was used by the people in the community and visitors to the monastery.
There came a time, however, when Aidan was ready to leave the monastery. He wanted to travel to Ireland and tell the people there more about God.
As he was boarding the ship for the journey to Ireland, the bees which he had so carefully cared for followed him and settled where he sat. He knew that the bees were important to the monks and so returned to David with the bees following him. Once at the monastery the bees settle back in their hives.
Aidan then said goodbye to David and the monks again, then returned to the ship. Once again the bees followed Aidan so he returned them to the monastery.
Returning to the ship for a third time he heard a low drone and realised that his friends were back once more. Aidan walked back to the monastery, this time hoping that the bees would be tired and stay in their hives!
When David saw Aidan return with the bees he realised how kind Aidan was to spend time returning them to the monastery. He knew that Aidan and the bees had a special relationship and so he let Aidan take the bees with him to Ireland. Once in Ireland the bees provided an abundance of honey - something which had not happened before.
The Poisoned Bread
One Easter evening, whilst Aidan was praying in his monastery in Ireland, an angel appeared to him and told him of a plan to poison David the next day. The angel wanted Aidan to send one of his servants to warn David that his cook and another monk were going to poison him. But Aidan knew that even if he sent one of his monks immediately, he would not be able to travel across the sea, from Ireland to Wales, in time to reach David. However, the angel replied that he would arrange this. So Aidan told a monk called Scuthinus (who had once studied at David's monastery), to go to the seashore where the angel would arrange his transport.
Scuthinus was excited about the journey. How would the angel let him travel? A ship would not be fast enough. Whilst waiting he let the water lap around his feet. Suddenly, from the depths of the sea, there appeared a beautiful sea creature. Its glittering scales glistened in the sun. Scuthinus clung onto its neck and sailed on its back towards the shores of Wales.
When he arrived in Menevia (David's monastery) the monks had finished their Easter services and were making their way to the dining hall. Scuthinus knew he had no time to lose. He ran towards David, telling him of the evil plan. David listened and then invited Scuthinus to join them for the meal.
After saying grace they all sat down to eat. The monk who placed the food before David looked at Scuthinus and began to tremble. When Scuthinus said that he would serve David, the wicked monk knew his plan to poison David had been discovered. But how?
David calmly took the bread and broke it into three parts. He gave one piece to a dog and another to a crow. As soon as they had tasted it they died. David then took the third piece and ate it himself. Nothing happened. The monks watched him for the rest of the day, waiting for him to die at any moment, but miraculously he was saved. God's power was once again seen by the monks.
Stories about the miracles and good works at David's monastery spread throughout the land. Travellers and traders heard the tales and returned to their own countries repeating them. Many people made pilgrimages to the monastery. One of these was an Irish abbot called Barre. He journeyed from Ireland to Rome to visit holy sites. On his way home to Ireland he decided to visit David. When they met they spent much time talking about God
When the time came from Barre to return to Ireland his ship could not leave the port; the wind was not strong enough to carry the ship across the sea. Barre became worried. If he did not return to his own monastery soon, this could lead to problems.
The ship could not sail, how could he return? He had heard stories of incredible sea creatures carrying people. David had a horse, surely he could use this. With God's powers nothing was impossible. David allowed Barre to use his horse and he quickly galloped towards the sea. Without stopping at the shore he led his horse into the sea. 'It ploughed with ease through the masses of waves.'
As he crossed the sea Barre noticed something moving in the distance. Drawing closer he saw that it was St. Brendan, a well-known traveller, riding on the back of a sea monster. Brendan was amazed to see Barre but realised that God had made this possible. They met and talked to each other about their journeys and pilgrimages. When parting, St. Brendan bid Barre farewell, telling him to "Go in Peace."
Barre continued his journey, arriving home safely. The monks at Barre's monastery
cared for David's horse until it died. They made a statue of the horse so that
they would always remember the miracle that had taken place in the sea.