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52302 February

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  • ambrois@xtra.co.nz
    Feb 2, 2014
      Celtic and Old English Saints 2 February

      * St. Columbanus of Ghent
      * St. Feock
      * St. Laurence of Canterbury
      * St. Ronan of the Isle of Man

      St. Columbanus of Ghent, Hermit
      Died February 15, 959. Saint Columbanus was probably an Irish abbot who
      led his community to Belgium following the constant raids of the
      Norsemen. On February 2, 957, Columbanus became a hermit in the cemetery
      near the church of Saint-Bavo at Ghent, where he acquired a wide
      reputation for holiness. He is buried in the cathedral and is one of the
      patrons of Belgium (Benedictines, D'Arcy, Fitzpatrick2, Montague).

      St. Feock, Virgin
      Date unknown. Nothing is known of Saint Feock's life but her name is
      perpetuated by a church dedication in Cornwall, England. She may have
      been an Irish immigrant. Some have postulated that the name is a
      variation of Saint Fiace (Fiech; f.d. October 12) or Saint Vougas of
      Brittany (f.d. June 15) (Benedictines).

      St.Feock's church, Cornwall

      St. Laurence of Canterbury

      Died 619. Laurence was one of the monks who had accompanied S.Augustine
      on his mission to the Kingdom of Kent and, once King Ethelbert was
      baptised and the Christian Faith was firmly established in his kingdom,
      he became the Archbishop's chief assistant. Augustine was worried that
      in the event of his death the new converts might return to paganism and
      so he
      consecrated Laurence as his coadjutor bishop to succeed him when he

      Laurence was industrious when he became Archbishop and renewed
      Augustine's efforts to win over the Celtic Church to the customs of the
      Roman, but the mission suffered a severe setback, for with the death of
      Ethelbert the people of Kent began to fall away from their new faith.
      This was largely due to Eadbald, the new king, who had not followed his
      father in becoming a Christian and had offended against Church law by
      marrying his stepmother. The remonstrations by the Archbishop only
      served to make the king more determined in his heathen practices and
      Laurence began to despair, deciding with his fellow bishops, Mellitus of
      London and Justus of Rochester, to abandon the English nation as beyond

      Mellitus and Justus left the country and Laurence was to follow them on
      the next day. For his last night he had a bed prepared in the abbey
      church before the High Altar, and after he had said his prayers he went
      to sleep. At the dead of night he was awoken by a vision in which the
      Apostle Peter scourged him with a great whip, asking him the reason for
      his desertion. "Why do you forsake the flock committed to you?" he
      asked. "To what shepherds are you leaving Christ's sheep, who are among
      wolves? Have you forgotten my example, who for the sake of these little
      ones that Christ gave me as a token of His affection, suffered at the
      hands of unbelievers chains, beatings, imprisonment, tortures and
      finally crucifixion that I might be crowned with Him?"

      In the morning Laurence went to Eadbald and showed him the scars of the
      beating that he had received, and the King was horrified to learn that
      hands had been laid upon such a holy man, demanding to know who had
      presumed to use him so. When the Archbishop told him, the King was
      greatly impressed and, renouncing his marriage, was baptised into the
      Christian Faith. Mellitus and Justus returned, and St. Laurence
      continued to build up the Church of Christ in England. When he died his
      body was interred in the abbey church, where he had had his vision, and
      he was remembered by a hospital in the Old Dover Road, which is part of
      Watling Street, now replaced by the County Cricket Ground still bearing
      his name.

      St. Ronan of the Isle of Man

      According to Kneen Marown refers to St Ronan - the prefix 'Ma' (or 'Mo')
      being just the Irish honorific 'my' (as in my lady). The Calendar of
      Angus refers to 'Bishop Ronan the Kingly'.. However there are many
      Ronan's mentioned in the various Martyrologies. A.W.Moore links him with
      the Scottish Abbot Ronan of Cinngrad (Kingarth) in Bute who died 737 and
      is commenorated in many places in the Hebrides.

      The Manx Tradionary Ballad, verse 20, places him as the third Bishop
      after Maughold and buried in Keeill Ma Rooney i.e. Kirk Marown; thus it
      is possible that Ronan is a local 'saint' who later became linked with
      his more famous namesake.

      Connaghan then came next,
      And then Marown the third;
      There all three lieth in Marown,
      And there for ever lieth unmolested

      Farmer gives four St. Ronans: a Scottish hermit of the 7th century whom
      tradition claims settled on the island of North Rona where a fine, and
      unique, oratory of that time still exists. Legend has it he was told to
      escape the evil tongues of the women of Eoroby (Lewis) and that he was
      transported to North Rona by whale where he defeated various diabolical
      assaults on his person. A church dedicated to him stands in Eoroby.
      A second Ronan is the Scottish bishop of Kilmaroren in Lennox,
      implausibly identified with the Irish monk who defended the Roman
      calculation of Easter at Whitby as described by Bede. This Ronan has the
      7 Feb feastday and is celebrated by St Ronan's Well at Innerleithen in
      Peeblesshire, as popularised by Sir Walter Scott, where according to
      tradition the saint came to the valley and drove out the Devil
      Two other Ronans are a Bishop who died in Brittany after working in
      Cornwall and the Bishop celebrated at Canterbury whose monastery
      possessed an arm as relic - he may be Romanus, deacon and exorcist of
      Caesarea whose feast day is 18th November. D.H.Farmer The Oxford
      Dictionary of Saints 1978

      Patron saint of Marown Parish

      Troparion of St Ronan Tone 4
      As one endowed with the beauty of speech,/ thou didst Preach Christ's
      saving Gospel to the inhabitants of Man, O Hierarch Ronan./ Wherefore O
      Saint, being mindful of the power of words,/ pray that our every
      utterance may be to the glory of God/ that at the end He will grant us
      great mercy.

      Kontakion of St Ronan Tone 6
      We sing thy praises, O righteous Ronan,/ praying for grace to emulate
      thee,/ that the example of our lives/ may proclaim the love of God to
      those around us.


      Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
      (1966). The Book of Saints. NY: Thomas Y. Crowell.

      Browne, G.F. St. Augustine and his Companions.

      Fitzpatrick, B. (1922). Ireland and the Making of Britain.
      New York: Funk and Wagnalls.

      Montague, H. P. (1981). The Saints and Martyrs of Ireland.
      Guildford: Billing & Sons.

      These Lives are archived at:
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