- Jan 2, 2014Celtic and Old English Saints 1 JanuaryHAPPY MMXIV=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
* St. Beoc of Lough Derg
* St. Ossene of Clonmore
* St. Colman Muilinn of Derrykeighan
* St. Airmedach of Craibhi-Laisre
* St. Eochaid of Uisneach
* St. Scethe of Feart-Sceithe
* St. Fintan of Bealach
* St. Connat of Kildare
* St. Cuan
* St. Elvan and St. Mydwyn
* St. Fanchea of Rossory
* St. Maelrhys
St. Beoc, Abbot
(also known as Beanus, Dabeoc, Mobeoc)
5th or 6th century. Beoc was a Cambro-Briton, who crossed over from
Wales to Ireland and founded a monastery on an island in Lough Derg,
St Daibheog of Lough Derg
In the "Martyrology of Tallagh" we find this insertion : Aedh, Lochagerg,
alias Daibheog. His name is Latinized Dabeocus, and he is frequently called
At a very early date, this saint lived on the island ; but for what term of
life does not seem to have been ascertained. Few notices of the place occur
in our ancient annals. We read, in the "Martyrology of
Donegal," that Dabheog belonged to Lough Geirg or Loch-gerc, in Ulster.
There, also, three festivals were annually held in his honour, namely, on
the 1st of January, on the 24th of July, and on the 16th of
According to St. Cummin of Connor, in the following translation from his
Irish poem on the characteristic virtues of the Irish Saints :-
"Mobeog, the gifted, loved,
According to the Synod of the learned,
That often in bowing his head,
He plunged it under water."''
Whether or not St. Patrick had any acquaintance with St. Dabeoc can hardly
be discovered. But, we are told, while the latter, with his clerics, lived
on the island, and when his vigils had been protracted to a late hour one
night, a wonderful brightness appeared towards the northern part of the
horizon. The clerics asked their master what it portended.
" In that direction, whence you have seen the brilliant
illumination," said Dabeog, 'the Lord himself, at a future
time, shall light a shining lamp, which, by its brightness,
must miraculously glorify the Church of Christ. This
shall be Columba, the son of Feidlimid, son of Fergus,
and whose mother will be Ethnea. For learning he shall
be distinguished ; in body and soul shall he be chaste ;
and he shall possess the gifts of prophecy."'
See Colgan's "Trias Thaumaturga." Quinta Vita S, Columbae. Lib. i., cap. X,
pp. 390, 391.
St. Ossene of Clonmore, Abbot
St. Ossene, or Oissein, son to Ceallach, of Clonmore, County of Louth.
Both published and unpublished copies of the Tallagh Martyrology assign the
1st day of January as a festival to Ossene, of Cluana Mor. This is the name
of a parish and townland in the ancient territory of
Cianachta Arda, It is known as Clonmore, in the present barony of Ferrard,
county of Louth. Ossein, son to Ceallach, of Cluainmor-Fer-n Arda, according
to the Martyrologies of Marianus O'Gorman and of Donegal, was venerated on
this day. This saint flourished at an early period, since St. Columkille
founded or repaired Cluain-mor-fernarda, in the territory of Bregia,and
placed St. Ossin, or Osseneus over it. (O'Hanlon)
St. Colman Muilinn of Derrykeighan
St. Colman Muilinn, of Derrykeighan, County of Antrim. [Fifth or Sixth
From various accounts, it would appear, the Church of Derrykeighan must have
been one of the oldest foundations in Ireland. Its first administrator is
stated to have been brother to St. Mochay, who died
towards the close of the fifth century. Colman Muilinn is simply entered in
the "Martyrology of Tallagh," on this day. He belonged to a place known as
Derrykeighan, in the county of Antrim, and within the
diocese of Connor. Further particulars concerning him we read in the
"Martyrology of Donegal."9 There it is stated that Colman Muilinn, of
Doire-Chaechain," belonged to Dal-Riada, in Ulster. Bronach, daughter of
Milchu," son to Buan, is said to have been his mother. We are informed,
likewise, that it was in a mill St. Colman used to make obeisance to the
brethren. No clue to the date of his death can be
found in our Annals. (O'Hanlon)
St. Airmedach of Craibhi-Laisre
St. Airmedach, Hermetius, or Ermedhach, Abbot of Craibhi-Laisre, probably
Creevagh, near Clonmacnoise, King's County. [Seventh Century.]
Airmedach, Abbot of Craibhi-Lasri, occurs at the 1st day of January, in the
"Martyrology of Tallagh."' This saint is called Eirmbeadhach in the " Annals
of the Four Masters." Marianus O'Gorman inserts this
Hermetius in the Calendar at the 1st day of January. His birth may probably
be referred to the early part of the seventh century. The "Martyrology of
Donegal" mentions Ermedhach, Abbot of Craebh-Laisre,
as having been venerated at this day. In a table appended, the name of this
holy man is Latinized or Grecized, Hermes.The present saint died a.d. 681,
according to the " Annals of the Four Masters," or a.d. 682, according to
those of Ulster. Craebh-Laisre is said to be the name of a place near
Clonmacnoise. Some doubt has been entertained as to whether this saint had
been identical with a certain Hermetius, Bishop and Abbot of Clogher,
mentioned in the "Tripartite Life of St. Patrick." He is said to have
written Acts of the great Irish apostle. Craebh- Laisre means in English "
Laisre's Bush," or " Branch," viz.,
of the " Old Tree." (O'Hanlon)
St. Eochaid of Uisneach
St. Eochaid, of Uisneach, or Usneagh, County of Westmeath.
Eochaid's name, without any other description, is found in the "Martyrology
of Tallagh" on to-day. There is a St. Eochod mentioned as a companion of St.
Columkille ; but the present seems to have been a
different person. A festival to Eochaid of Uisneach is entered at this date
in the "Martyrology of Donegal." (O'Hanlon)
St. Scethe of Feart-Sceithe
St. Scethe, or Sciath, Virgin and Patroness of Feart-Sceithe, now Ardskeagh,
Scethe, a virgin, from Fert Sceithe, is found on record in the "Martyrology
of Tallagh," at the 1st day of January. From the "Martyrology of Donegal "
we learn that veneration was given on this
day to Sciath, virgin, and daughter to Meachair, of Feart-Sceithe, in
Muscraighe-Aedha. St. Scethe belonged to the race of Conaire, son to
Mogh-lamha, monarch of Ireland. Thus she was descended from the race of
Heremon. The Church of Fiort-sceithe is placed by the Calendars of Marianus
and of the Four Masters in Muscraighe-tri-maighe, or Muskerry of the Three
Plains. It is known at present by the name of Ardskeagh, a small parish in
that part of Fermoy barony bordering on the baronies of Orrery and Kilmore,
county of Cork. (O'Hanlon)
St. Fintan of Bealach
St. Fintan, son of Eochach, of Bealach. [Sixth or Seventh Century.]
Fintan Mac Eochach, of Bealach, has been set down in the "Martyrology of
Tallagh"' at the 1st of January." It is not easy to discover where the
'bealach," meaning a " pass" or "road," lay. At this date the
"Martyrology of Donegal " likewise registers Fuintain, son of Eochaidh,
descended from the race of Laeghaire, son to Niall of the Nine Hostages. At
the period of his death, which probably occurred
sometime about the close of the sixth or beginning of the seventh century,
he passed to a blessed life, promised to faithful servants, in the household
of the Lord. (O'Hanlon)
For the 6 Saints above refer to :
St. Connat (Comnatan) Virgin
Died c. 590. Abbess of Saint Brigid's convent in Kildare (Benedictines).
St. Cuan (Mochua, Moncan), Abbot
6th century. An Irish abbot, who founded many churches and monasteries
and who lived to be nearly 100 (Benedictines).
St. Elvan and St. Mydwyn
2nd century. Elvan and Mydwyn are said to have been the Britons sent by
King Saint Lucius to Pope Saint Eleutherius to petition for missionaries
to be sent to Britain (Benedictines).
St. Fanchea (Fainche, Garbh) of Rossory, Virgin
Died c. 585. Many amazing stories are related about her in the life of
Saint Enda, who is generally regarded as the father of Irish
monasticism. Fanchea was an early nun with special capabilities as a
directress of souls. She is said to be a native of Clogher, who
persuaded her brother, Saint Enda, to become a monk. She was the
abbess-founder of a convent at Rossory, Fermanagh, and was buried at
Killane (Benedictines, Encyclopaedia, Montague).
6th century. Maelrhys, a saint from the isle of Bardsey, was probably
born in Brittany. He is venerated in northern Wales (Benedictines).
Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
(1947). The Book of Saints. NY: Macmillan.
Encyclopaedia of Catholic Saints, October. (1966).
Philadelphia: Chilton Books.
Montague, H. P. (1981). The Saints and Martyrs of Ireland.
Guildford: Billing & Sons.
These Lives are archived at:
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