- Feb 2, 2014Celtic 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
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
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
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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