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12 December

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  • emrys@globe.net.nz
    Celtic and Old English Saints 12 December =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Finnian of Clonard * St. Columba of Tyrdaglas * St.
    Message 1 of 14 , Dec 10, 2007
      Celtic and Old English Saints 12 December

      =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
      * St. Finnian of Clonard
      * St. Columba of Tyrdaglas
      * St. Cormac
      * St. Edburga of Thanet
      * St. Colman of Glendalough
      * St. Corentin
      * St. Agatha of Wimborne
      =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


      St. Finnian of Clonard, Bishop
      (Finian, Finden, Vennianus, Vinnianus)
      --------------------------------------------------------
      Born in Leinster, Ireland, c. 470; died at Clonard (Cluain-Irard) Abbey
      in Meath, Ireland, December 12, c. 552 (but the date ranges from
      549-564).

      Saint Finnian was an Irish monk who followed in the path of Saint
      Patrick, whose disciples, including Saint Fortchern (f.d. February 17),
      instructed him in the essentials of Christian virtue, and himself
      initiated a strict form of Irish monasticism. Along with Saint Enda of
      Aran (f.d. March 21), he is regarded as the founder of Irish
      monasticism. He had close relations with the British Church.

      He is said to have been born into a noble family at Myshall, County
      Carlow, Ireland. He probably also received his education in that
      district, where he also made his first three foundations at Rossacurra,
      Drumfea, and Kilmaglush. Thereafter, he spent several years in Wales,
      where he was trained in monasticism by Saints Cadoc of Llancarfan (f.d.
      September 25), David of Menevia (f.d. March 1), and Gildas (f.d. January
      29). He lived on bread, herbs, and water, and on the bare ground with a
      stone for his pillow. About 520, Finnian returned to Ireland, armed with
      the sanctity and sacred learning to reinvigorate the faith of his
      countrymen.

      To further God's work, he founded churches and several monasteries,
      including Aghowle (County Wicklow) and Mugna Sulcain. His most notable
      foundation was Clonard on the Boyne in Meath, which was the greatest
      school of the period, renowned for several centuries for its biblical
      studies (Finnian was a great Biblical scholar). During his abbacy, he is
      said to have gathered 3,000 disciples at Clonard. As each left the
      monastery to preach, he took with him a Book of the Gospels, a crozier,
      and a reliquary around which he would built a church or monastery.

      The rule of Clonard is believed to be based on the Rule of Lerins.
      Finnian corresponded with Saint Gildas on matters of monastic
      discipline, who had deplored the intrusion of wealth and power into the
      episcopal office in Britain. Perhaps this was an influence in
      development of a monastic rather than episcopal government within the
      Irish Church.

      He is often called the "Teacher of Irish Saints." At one time his pupils
      at Clonard included the so-called Twelve Apostles of Ireland:

      Brendan of Birr (f.d. November 29)
      Brendan the Voyager (f.d. May 16)
      Cainnech (f.d. October 11)
      Ciaran of Clommacnois (f.d. September 9)
      Columba of Iona (f.d. June 9)
      Columba of Terryglass (f.d. today)
      Comgall of Bangor (f.d. May 11)
      Finian of Moville (f.d. September 10)
      Kieran of Saigher (f.d. March 5)
      Mobhi (f.d. October 12)
      Molaise (Laserian) of Devendish (f.d. August 12)
      Ninidh of Inismacsaint (f.d. January 18)
      Ruadhan of Lothra (f.d. April 15)
      Sinell of Cleenish (f.d.October 12).

      (You might note that this is more than 12; this is a very elastic twelve
      with different saints added at different times)

      He died at Clonard of the yellow plague, which swept the country.
      According to his biographer: "As Paul died in Rome for the sake of the
      Christian people lest they should all perish in hell, so Finnian died at
      Clonard for the sake of the people of the Gael, that they might not all
      perish of the yellow pest." His relics were enshrined at Clonard until
      they were destroyed in 887.

      His monastery at Clonard survived the Viking raids, Norman aggressions,
      and native strife, but not the Reformation, at which time it was
      suppressed. At one point Clonard was converted into a house of
      Augustinian canons, from whom there survives an office of Saint Finnian
      with some elements taken from an otherwise unknown source. The
      Protestant church of Clonard now houses an 11th-century, grey marble
      baptismal font with figures from the Scriptures sculpted on its eight
      panels as well as a stone head from the former abbey. All other traces
      of Finnian's tomb, church, and abbey have been eradicated.

      The contemporary collection of regulations for penitents, ascribed to
      Vinnianus, was probably not the work of this Finnian but perhaps by
      Finnian of Moville (f.d. September 10; d. c. 579). This oldest surviving
      penitentiary is based on Welsh and Irish sources, as well as on those of
      Saints Jerome (f.d. September 30) and John Cassian (f.d. July 23), and
      influenced a similar work by Saint Columbanus (f.d. November 23). The
      feast of Saint Finnian is observed throughout Ireland (Attwater,
      Attwater 2, Benedictines, Coulson, D'Arcy, Delaney, Encyclopaedia,
      Farmer, Healy, Husenbeth, Montague, Ryan).

      Troparion of St Finnian of Clonard tone 8
      Truly thou art the 'Tutor of the Saints of Ireland', O Founder of
      Clonard, great Father Finnian./ As thou didst tirelessly teach the faith
      in thy native land,/ so teach us to follow thy example that many may
      come to know Christ and be led into the Way of Salvation.


      St. Columba (Colm) of Tyrdaglas, Abbot
      --------------------------------------------------------
      Born in Leinster, Ireland; died 548; feast may also be December 13.
      Saint Columba, son of the Leinster noble named Crimthain, was a disciple
      of Saint Finnian (f.d. today) and himself became a great master of the
      spiritual life.

      Finnian often had Saint Senach (f.d. March 8) keep an eye on the younger
      seminarians at Clonard. Once Senach reported back to the holy abbot that
      he found Columba kneeling in prayer, oblivious to everything about him,
      with his arms stretched out to heaven and the birds alighting on his
      shoulders. Finnian replied, "He is the one who will offer the Holy
      Sacrifice for me at my death."

      After founding and governing the monastery of Tyrdaglas on the Shannon
      in Munster, Saint Columba died of the plague. He is generally described
      as one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland and is also the co-founder of
      Clonenagh with Saint Fintan (f.d. February 17) who became its second
      abbot, and of Iniscaltra (Holy Island in the Shannon) (Benedictines,
      D'Arcy, Healy, Husenbeth, Montague, Ryan).

      Troparion of St Columba of Leinster tone 8
      O pious Columba, as a disciple of our Father Finnian and a renowned
      struggler, thou didst shine forth in the ascetic life./ O Ireland's
      treasure, cease not to pray for those who labour, weeping and repenting,
      for the salvation of their souls.


      St. Cormac, Abbot
      --------------------------------------------------------
      6th century. The eminently holy, ancient Irish abbot, Saint Cormac, was
      friend of Saint Columba (f.d. June 9), according to Adamnan
      (Benedictines, Husenbeth).


      St. Edburga (Eadburh) of Thanet, Abbess & Virgin
      --------------------------------------------------------
      Died 751. Saint Edburga, one of the royal family of Kent, succeeded
      Saint Mildred (f.d. July 13) as abbess of Minster in Thanet. She is
      known chiefly from Saint Boniface's (f.d. June 5) letters to her, in
      which he thanks her for books, altar vestments, and other 'tokens of
      affection' she had sent him and for the 'spiritual light' conveyed in
      her letters. She had a new church built for her convent at Minster to
      which she translated the relics of Saint Mildred. Edburga is also known
      for her talent as a calligrapher. Her own relics were translated to
      Saint Gregory's Church in Canterbury in 1055 (Attwater, Attwater 2,
      Benedictines, Coulson, Husenbeth).


      St. Colman of Glendalough, Abbot
      --------------------------------------------------------
      Died 659. An abbot Colman of Glendalough is mentioned in the Irish
      calendars (Benedictines, Husenbeth).

      Troparion of St Colman of Glendalough tone 8
      Giving thy life to Christ in monastic poverty, thou didst teach us a
      God-pleasing set of values, O Father Colman./ Wherefore intercede with
      Christ our God that He will instil in us constancy of faith, patience in
      trials and freedom from worldliness that we may be found worthy of His
      great mercy.


      St. Corentin (Cury)
      --------------------------------------------------------
      Died c. 490 (though some claim him for the 6th century); a second feast
      day on May 1 is probably in honour of his translation. There may be some
      confusion between Corentinus, first bishop of Cornouaille (Quimper),
      Brittany, and the saintly founder and patron of Cury (Corentin) on
      Lizard Island of Cornwall (died 401?) whose feast is also today, and
      whose cultus spread throughout southwestern England and Wales. This
      second was a hermit at the foot of Mount Menehont in Devonshire, who
      preached with great success and is said to have died there. They may be
      two people or one; however, in 1890, a fresco was
      discovered at Breage (the mother-church of Lizard), which depicts Saint
      Corentin/Cury in a cope and mitre with the pastoral staff of a bishop.
      Beside him is a fish, from which he was reputed to have cut and eaten
      one slice each day, without any diminution in the size of the fish.

      The story that unites the two claims that Corentin was a Celtic hermit
      who retired to the forest of Plomodiern, where he lived in solitude for
      several years. After the death of Marcellus, who had subscribed to the
      first council of Tours, and the several other British bishops who
      migrated to Brittany, new pastors were needed for the British in
      Armorica who were familiar with the language and customs. Thus, Corentin
      was recruited and consecrated bishop by Saint Martin of Tours ((f.d.
      November 11), who had been dead for some time). It is said that Count
      Grallo I of Cornouaille (died c. 445) gave his palace at Quimper to
      serve as the home and cathedral of the new bishop. An ancient cross
      stands near his church. Corentin participated in the council of Angers
      in 453 and signed the canons under the name Charaton. He was said to
      have been a friend of Guennole (?).

      Corentin's relics were translated to Marmoutier at Tours in 878 to
      protect them from destruction at the hands of the Normans (Attwater 2,
      Benedictines, Coulson, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).


      St. Agatha of Wimborne, Nun
      --------------------------------------------------------
      Died c. 790. Saint Agatha, a Benedictine nun at Wimborne, crossed the
      English Channel to Germany with her mentor Saint Lioba (f.d. September
      28) in order to help Saint Boniface (f.d. June 5) in his missionary
      labours (Benedictines).


      Sources:
      ========

      Attwater, D. (1983). The Penguin Dictionary of Saints,
      2nd edition, revised and updated by Catherine Rachel John.
      New York: Penguin Books.

      Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
      (1947). The Book of Saints. NY: Macmillan.

      Coulson, J. (ed.). (1960). The Saints: A Concise Biographical
      Dictionary. New York: Hawthorn Books.

      D'Arcy, M. R. (1974). The Saints of Ireland. Saint Paul, Minnesota:
      Irish American Cultural Institute. [This is probably the most
      useful book to choose to own on the Irish saints. The author
      provides a great deal of historical context in which to place the
      lives of the saints.]

      Delaney, J. J. (1983). Pocket Dictionary of Saints.
      New York: Doubleday Image.

      Encyclopaedia of Catholic Saints, October. (1966).
      Philadelphia: Chilton Books.

      Farmer, D. H. (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Saints.
      Oxford: Oxford University Press.

      Healy, J. (1902). Ireland's Ancient Schools and Scholars.
      Dublin: Sealy, Bryers and Walker.

      Husenbeth, Rev. F. C., DD, VG (ed.). (1928). Butler's
      Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints.
      London: Virtue & Co.

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

      Ryan, J. (1931). Irish Monasticism. Dublin: Talbot Press.

      For All the Saints:
      http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/ss-index.htm

      An Alphabetical Index of the Saints of the West
      http://www.orthodoxengland.btinternet.co.uk/saintsa.htm

      These Lives are archived at:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints
      ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤
    • emrys@globe.net.nz
      Celtic and Old English Saints 12 December =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Finnian of Clonard * St. Columba of Tyrdaglas * St.
      Message 2 of 14 , Dec 11, 2008
        Celtic and Old English Saints 12 December

        =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
        * St. Finnian of Clonard
        * St. Columba of Tyrdaglas
        * St. Cormac
        * St. Edburga of Thanet
        * St. Colman of Glendalough
        * St. Corentin
        * St. Agatha of Wimborne
        =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


        St. Finnian of Clonard, Bishop
        (Finian, Finden, Vennianus, Vinnianus)
        --------------------------------------------------------
        Born in Leinster, Ireland, c. 470; died at Clonard (Cluain-Irard) Abbey
        in Meath, Ireland, December 12, c. 552 (but the date ranges from
        549-564).

        Saint Finnian was an Irish monk who followed in the path of Saint
        Patrick, whose disciples, including Saint Fortchern (f.d. February 17),
        instructed him in the essentials of Christian virtue, and himself
        initiated a strict form of Irish monasticism. Along with Saint Enda of
        Aran (f.d. March 21), he is regarded as the founder of Irish
        monasticism. He had close relations with the British Church.

        He is said to have been born into a noble family at Myshall, County
        Carlow, Ireland. He probably also received his education in that
        district, where he also made his first three foundations at Rossacurra,
        Drumfea, and Kilmaglush. Thereafter, he spent several years in Wales,
        where he was trained in monasticism by Saints Cadoc of Llancarfan (f.d.
        September 25), David of Menevia (f.d. March 1), and Gildas (f.d. January
        29). He lived on bread, herbs, and water, and on the bare ground with a
        stone for his pillow. About 520, Finnian returned to Ireland, armed with
        the sanctity and sacred learning to reinvigorate the faith of his
        countrymen.

        To further God's work, he founded churches and several monasteries,
        including Aghowle (County Wicklow) and Mugna Sulcain. His most notable
        foundation was Clonard on the Boyne in Meath, which was the greatest
        school of the period, renowned for several centuries for its biblical
        studies (Finnian was a great Biblical scholar). During his abbacy, he is
        said to have gathered 3,000 disciples at Clonard. As each left the
        monastery to preach, he took with him a Book of the Gospels, a crozier,
        and a reliquary around which he would built a church or monastery.

        The rule of Clonard is believed to be based on the Rule of Lerins.
        Finnian corresponded with Saint Gildas on matters of monastic
        discipline, who had deplored the intrusion of wealth and power into the
        episcopal office in Britain. Perhaps this was an influence in
        development of a monastic rather than episcopal government within the
        Irish Church.

        He is often called the "Teacher of Irish Saints." At one time his pupils
        at Clonard included the so-called Twelve Apostles of Ireland:

        Brendan of Birr (f.d. November 29)
        Brendan the Voyager (f.d. May 16)
        Cainnech (f.d. October 11)
        Ciaran of Clommacnois (f.d. September 9)
        Columba of Iona (f.d. June 9)
        Columba of Terryglass (f.d. today)
        Comgall of Bangor (f.d. May 11)
        Finian of Moville (f.d. September 10)
        Kieran of Saigher (f.d. March 5)
        Mobhi (f.d. October 12)
        Molaise (Laserian) of Devendish (f.d. August 12)
        Ninidh of Inismacsaint (f.d. January 18)
        Ruadhan of Lothra (f.d. April 15)
        Sinell of Cleenish (f.d.October 12).

        (You might note that this is more than 12; this is a very elastic twelve
        with different saints added at different times)

        He died at Clonard of the yellow plague, which swept the country.
        According to his biographer: "As Paul died in Rome for the sake of the
        Christian people lest they should all perish in hell, so Finnian died at
        Clonard for the sake of the people of the Gael, that they might not all
        perish of the yellow pest." His relics were enshrined at Clonard until
        they were destroyed in 887.

        His monastery at Clonard survived the Viking raids, Norman aggressions,
        and native strife, but not the Reformation, at which time it was
        suppressed. At one point Clonard was converted into a house of
        Augustinian canons, from whom there survives an office of Saint Finnian
        with some elements taken from an otherwise unknown source. The
        Protestant church of Clonard now houses an 11th-century, grey marble
        baptismal font with figures from the Scriptures sculpted on its eight
        panels as well as a stone head from the former abbey. All other traces
        of Finnian's tomb, church, and abbey have been eradicated.

        The contemporary collection of regulations for penitents, ascribed to
        Vinnianus, was probably not the work of this Finnian but perhaps by
        Finnian of Moville (f.d. September 10; d. c. 579). This oldest surviving
        penitentiary is based on Welsh and Irish sources, as well as on those of
        Saints Jerome (f.d. September 30) and John Cassian (f.d. July 23), and
        influenced a similar work by Saint Columbanus (f.d. November 23). The
        feast of Saint Finnian is observed throughout Ireland (Attwater,
        Attwater 2, Benedictines, Coulson, D'Arcy, Delaney, Encyclopaedia,
        Farmer, Healy, Husenbeth, Montague, Ryan).

        Troparion of St Finnian of Clonard tone 8
        Truly thou art the 'Tutor of the Saints of Ireland', O Founder of
        Clonard, great Father Finnian./ As thou didst tirelessly teach the faith
        in thy native land,/ so teach us to follow thy example that many may
        come to know Christ and be led into the Way of Salvation.


        St. Columba (Colm) of Tyrdaglas, Abbot
        --------------------------------------------------------
        Born in Leinster, Ireland; died 548; feast may also be December 13.
        Saint Columba, son of the Leinster noble named Crimthain, was a disciple
        of Saint Finnian (f.d. today) and himself became a great master of the
        spiritual life.

        Finnian often had Saint Senach (f.d. March 8) keep an eye on the younger
        seminarians at Clonard. Once Senach reported back to the holy abbot that
        he found Columba kneeling in prayer, oblivious to everything about him,
        with his arms stretched out to heaven and the birds alighting on his
        shoulders. Finnian replied, "He is the one who will offer the Holy
        Sacrifice for me at my death."

        After founding and governing the monastery of Tyrdaglas on the Shannon
        in Munster, Saint Columba died of the plague. He is generally described
        as one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland and is also the co-founder of
        Clonenagh with Saint Fintan (f.d. February 17) who became its second
        abbot, and of Iniscaltra (Holy Island in the Shannon) (Benedictines,
        D'Arcy, Healy, Husenbeth, Montague, Ryan).

        Troparion of St Columba of Leinster tone 8
        O pious Columba, as a disciple of our Father Finnian and a renowned
        struggler, thou didst shine forth in the ascetic life./ O Ireland's
        treasure, cease not to pray for those who labour, weeping and repenting,
        for the salvation of their souls.


        St. Cormac, Abbot
        --------------------------------------------------------
        6th century. The eminently holy, ancient Irish abbot, Saint Cormac, was
        friend of Saint Columba (f.d. June 9), according to Adamnan
        (Benedictines, Husenbeth).


        St. Edburga (Eadburh) of Thanet, Abbess & Virgin
        --------------------------------------------------------
        Died 751. Saint Edburga, one of the royal family of Kent, succeeded
        Saint Mildred (f.d. July 13) as abbess of Minster in Thanet. She is
        known chiefly from Saint Boniface's (f.d. June 5) letters to her, in
        which he thanks her for books, altar vestments, and other 'tokens of
        affection' she had sent him and for the 'spiritual light' conveyed in
        her letters. She had a new church built for her convent at Minster to
        which she translated the relics of Saint Mildred. Edburga is also known
        for her talent as a calligrapher. Her own relics were translated to
        Saint Gregory's Church in Canterbury in 1055 (Attwater, Attwater 2,
        Benedictines, Coulson, Husenbeth).


        St. Colman of Glendalough, Abbot
        --------------------------------------------------------
        Died 659. An abbot Colman of Glendalough is mentioned in the Irish
        calendars (Benedictines, Husenbeth).

        Troparion of St Colman of Glendalough tone 8
        Giving thy life to Christ in monastic poverty, thou didst teach us a
        God-pleasing set of values, O Father Colman./ Wherefore intercede with
        Christ our God that He will instil in us constancy of faith, patience in
        trials and freedom from worldliness that we may be found worthy of His
        great mercy.


        St. Corentin (Cury)
        --------------------------------------------------------
        Died c. 490 (though some claim him for the 6th century); a second feast
        day on May 1 is probably in honour of his translation. There may be some
        confusion between Corentinus, first bishop of Cornouaille (Quimper),
        Brittany, and the saintly founder and patron of Cury (Corentin) on
        Lizard Island of Cornwall (died 401?) whose feast is also today, and
        whose cultus spread throughout southwestern England and Wales. This
        second was a hermit at the foot of Mount Menehont in Devonshire, who
        preached with great success and is said to have died there. They may be
        two people or one; however, in 1890, a fresco was
        discovered at Breage (the mother-church of Lizard), which depicts Saint
        Corentin/Cury in a cope and mitre with the pastoral staff of a bishop.
        Beside him is a fish, from which he was reputed to have cut and eaten
        one slice each day, without any diminution in the size of the fish.

        The story that unites the two claims that Corentin was a Celtic hermit
        who retired to the forest of Plomodiern, where he lived in solitude for
        several years. After the death of Marcellus, who had subscribed to the
        first council of Tours, and the several other British bishops who
        migrated to Brittany, new pastors were needed for the British in
        Armorica who were familiar with the language and customs. Thus, Corentin
        was recruited and consecrated bishop by Saint Martin of Tours ((f.d.
        November 11), who had been dead for some time). It is said that Count
        Grallo I of Cornouaille (died c. 445) gave his palace at Quimper to
        serve as the home and cathedral of the new bishop. An ancient cross
        stands near his church. Corentin participated in the council of Angers
        in 453 and signed the canons under the name Charaton. He was said to
        have been a friend of Guennole (?).

        Corentin's relics were translated to Marmoutier at Tours in 878 to
        protect them from destruction at the hands of the Normans (Attwater 2,
        Benedictines, Coulson, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).


        St. Agatha of Wimborne, Nun
        --------------------------------------------------------
        Died c. 790. Saint Agatha, a Benedictine nun at Wimborne, crossed the
        English Channel to Germany with her mentor Saint Lioba (f.d. September
        28) in order to help Saint Boniface (f.d. June 5) in his missionary
        labours (Benedictines).


        Sources:
        ========

        Attwater, D. (1983). The Penguin Dictionary of Saints,
        2nd edition, revised and updated by Catherine Rachel John.
        New York: Penguin Books.

        Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
        (1947). The Book of Saints. NY: Macmillan.

        Coulson, J. (ed.). (1960). The Saints: A Concise Biographical
        Dictionary. New York: Hawthorn Books.

        D'Arcy, M. R. (1974). The Saints of Ireland. Saint Paul, Minnesota:
        Irish American Cultural Institute. [This is probably the most
        useful book to choose to own on the Irish saints. The author
        provides a great deal of historical context in which to place the
        lives of the saints.]

        Delaney, J. J. (1983). Pocket Dictionary of Saints.
        New York: Doubleday Image.

        Encyclopaedia of Catholic Saints, October. (1966).
        Philadelphia: Chilton Books.

        Farmer, D. H. (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Saints.
        Oxford: Oxford University Press.

        Healy, J. (1902). Ireland's Ancient Schools and Scholars.
        Dublin: Sealy, Bryers and Walker.

        Husenbeth, Rev. F. C., DD, VG (ed.). (1928). Butler's
        Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints.
        London: Virtue & Co.

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

        Ryan, J. (1931). Irish Monasticism. Dublin: Talbot Press.

        For All the Saints:
        http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/ss-index.htm

        An Alphabetical Index of the Saints of the West
        http://www.orthodoxengland.btinternet.co.uk/saintsa.htm

        These Lives are archived at:
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints
        ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤
      • emrys@globe.net.nz
        Celtic and Old English Saints 12 December =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Finnian of Clonard * St. Columba of Tyrdaglas * St.
        Message 3 of 14 , Dec 11, 2009
          Celtic and Old English Saints 12 December

          =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
          * St. Finnian of Clonard
          * St. Columba of Tyrdaglas
          * St. Cormac
          * St. Edburga of Thanet
          * St. Colman of Glendalough
          * St. Corentin
          * St. Agatha of Wimborne
          =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


          St. Finnian of Clonard, Bishop
          (Finian, Finden, Vennianus, Vinnianus)
          --------------------------------------------------------
          Born in Leinster, Ireland, c. 470; died at Clonard (Cluain-Irard) Abbey
          in Meath, Ireland, December 12, c. 552 (but the date ranges from
          549-564).

          Saint Finnian was an Irish monk who followed in the path of Saint
          Patrick, whose disciples, including Saint Fortchern (f.d. February 17),
          instructed him in the essentials of Christian virtue, and himself
          initiated a strict form of Irish monasticism. Along with Saint Enda of
          Aran (f.d. March 21), he is regarded as the founder of Irish
          monasticism. He had close relations with the British Church.

          He is said to have been born into a noble family at Myshall, County
          Carlow, Ireland. He probably also received his education in that
          district, where he also made his first three foundations at Rossacurra,
          Drumfea, and Kilmaglush. Thereafter, he spent several years in Wales,
          where he was trained in monasticism by Saints Cadoc of Llancarfan (f.d.
          September 25), David of Menevia (f.d. March 1), and Gildas (f.d. January
          29). He lived on bread, herbs, and water, and on the bare ground with a
          stone for his pillow. About 520, Finnian returned to Ireland, armed with
          the sanctity and sacred learning to reinvigorate the faith of his
          countrymen.

          To further God's work, he founded churches and several monasteries,
          including Aghowle (County Wicklow) and Mugna Sulcain. His most notable
          foundation was Clonard on the Boyne in Meath, which was the greatest
          school of the period, renowned for several centuries for its biblical
          studies (Finnian was a great Biblical scholar). During his abbacy, he is
          said to have gathered 3,000 disciples at Clonard. As each left the
          monastery to preach, he took with him a Book of the Gospels, a crozier,
          and a reliquary around which he would built a church or monastery.

          The rule of Clonard is believed to be based on the Rule of Lerins.
          Finnian corresponded with Saint Gildas on matters of monastic
          discipline, who had deplored the intrusion of wealth and power into the
          episcopal office in Britain. Perhaps this was an influence in
          development of a monastic rather than episcopal government within the
          Irish Church.

          He is often called the "Teacher of Irish Saints." At one time his pupils
          at Clonard included the so-called Twelve Apostles of Ireland:

          Brendan of Birr (f.d. November 29)
          Brendan the Voyager (f.d. May 16)
          Cainnech (f.d. October 11)
          Ciaran of Clommacnois (f.d. September 9)
          Columba of Iona (f.d. June 9)
          Columba of Terryglass (f.d. today)
          Comgall of Bangor (f.d. May 11)
          Finian of Moville (f.d. September 10)
          Kieran of Saigher (f.d. March 5)
          Mobhi (f.d. October 12)
          Molaise (Laserian) of Devendish (f.d. August 12)
          Ninidh of Inismacsaint (f.d. January 18)
          Ruadhan of Lothra (f.d. April 15)
          Sinell of Cleenish (f.d.October 12).

          (You might note that this is more than 12; this is a very elastic twelve
          with different saints added at different times)

          He died at Clonard of the yellow plague, which swept the country.
          According to his biographer: "As Paul died in Rome for the sake of the
          Christian people lest they should all perish in hell, so Finnian died at
          Clonard for the sake of the people of the Gael, that they might not all
          perish of the yellow pest." His relics were enshrined at Clonard until
          they were destroyed in 887.

          His monastery at Clonard survived the Viking raids, Norman aggressions,
          and native strife, but not the Reformation, at which time it was
          suppressed. At one point Clonard was converted into a house of
          Augustinian canons, from whom there survives an office of Saint Finnian
          with some elements taken from an otherwise unknown source. The
          Protestant church of Clonard now houses an 11th-century, grey marble
          baptismal font with figures from the Scriptures sculpted on its eight
          panels as well as a stone head from the former abbey. All other traces
          of Finnian's tomb, church, and abbey have been eradicated.

          The contemporary collection of regulations for penitents, ascribed to
          Vinnianus, was probably not the work of this Finnian but perhaps by
          Finnian of Moville (f.d. September 10; d. c. 579). This oldest surviving
          penitentiary is based on Welsh and Irish sources, as well as on those of
          Saints Jerome (f.d. September 30) and John Cassian (f.d. July 23), and
          influenced a similar work by Saint Columbanus (f.d. November 23). The
          feast of Saint Finnian is observed throughout Ireland (Attwater,
          Attwater 2, Benedictines, Coulson, D'Arcy, Delaney, Encyclopaedia,
          Farmer, Healy, Husenbeth, Montague, Ryan).

          Troparion of St Finnian of Clonard tone 8
          Truly thou art the 'Tutor of the Saints of Ireland', O Founder of
          Clonard, great Father Finnian./ As thou didst tirelessly teach the faith
          in thy native land,/ so teach us to follow thy example that many may
          come to know Christ and be led into the Way of Salvation.


          St. Columba (Colm) of Tyrdaglas, Abbot
          --------------------------------------------------------
          Born in Leinster, Ireland; died 548; feast may also be December 13.
          Saint Columba, son of the Leinster noble named Crimthain, was a disciple
          of Saint Finnian (f.d. today) and himself became a great master of the
          spiritual life.

          Finnian often had Saint Senach (f.d. March 8) keep an eye on the younger
          seminarians at Clonard. Once Senach reported back to the holy abbot that
          he found Columba kneeling in prayer, oblivious to everything about him,
          with his arms stretched out to heaven and the birds alighting on his
          shoulders. Finnian replied, "He is the one who will offer the Holy
          Sacrifice for me at my death."

          After founding and governing the monastery of Tyrdaglas on the Shannon
          in Munster, Saint Columba died of the plague. He is generally described
          as one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland and is also the co-founder of
          Clonenagh with Saint Fintan (f.d. February 17) who became its second
          abbot, and of Iniscaltra (Holy Island in the Shannon) (Benedictines,
          D'Arcy, Healy, Husenbeth, Montague, Ryan).

          Troparion of St Columba of Leinster tone 8
          O pious Columba, as a disciple of our Father Finnian and a renowned
          struggler, thou didst shine forth in the ascetic life./ O Ireland's
          treasure, cease not to pray for those who labour, weeping and repenting,
          for the salvation of their souls.


          St. Cormac, Abbot
          --------------------------------------------------------
          6th century. The eminently holy, ancient Irish abbot, Saint Cormac, was
          friend of Saint Columba (f.d. June 9), according to Adamnan
          (Benedictines, Husenbeth).


          St. Edburga (Eadburh) of Thanet, Abbess & Virgin
          --------------------------------------------------------
          Died 751. Saint Edburga, one of the royal family of Kent, succeeded
          Saint Mildred (f.d. July 13) as abbess of Minster in Thanet. She is
          known chiefly from Saint Boniface's (f.d. June 5) letters to her, in
          which he thanks her for books, altar vestments, and other 'tokens of
          affection' she had sent him and for the 'spiritual light' conveyed in
          her letters. She had a new church built for her convent at Minster to
          which she translated the relics of Saint Mildred. Edburga is also known
          for her talent as a calligrapher. Her own relics were translated to
          Saint Gregory's Church in Canterbury in 1055 (Attwater, Attwater 2,
          Benedictines, Coulson, Husenbeth).


          St. Colman of Glendalough, Abbot
          --------------------------------------------------------
          Died 659. An abbot Colman of Glendalough is mentioned in the Irish
          calendars (Benedictines, Husenbeth).

          Troparion of St Colman of Glendalough tone 8
          Giving thy life to Christ in monastic poverty, thou didst teach us a
          God-pleasing set of values, O Father Colman./ Wherefore intercede with
          Christ our God that He will instil in us constancy of faith, patience in
          trials and freedom from worldliness that we may be found worthy of His
          great mercy.


          St. Corentin (Cury)
          --------------------------------------------------------
          Died c. 490 (though some claim him for the 6th century); a second feast
          day on May 1 is probably in honour of his translation. There may be some
          confusion between Corentinus, first bishop of Cornouaille (Quimper),
          Brittany, and the saintly founder and patron of Cury (Corentin) on
          Lizard Island of Cornwall (died 401?) whose feast is also today, and
          whose cultus spread throughout southwestern England and Wales. This
          second was a hermit at the foot of Mount Menehont in Devonshire, who
          preached with great success and is said to have died there. They may be
          two people or one; however, in 1890, a fresco was
          discovered at Breage (the mother-church of Lizard), which depicts Saint
          Corentin/Cury in a cope and mitre with the pastoral staff of a bishop.
          Beside him is a fish, from which he was reputed to have cut and eaten
          one slice each day, without any diminution in the size of the fish.

          The story that unites the two claims that Corentin was a Celtic hermit
          who retired to the forest of Plomodiern, where he lived in solitude for
          several years. After the death of Marcellus, who had subscribed to the
          first council of Tours, and the several other British bishops who
          migrated to Brittany, new pastors were needed for the British in
          Armorica who were familiar with the language and customs. Thus, Corentin
          was recruited and consecrated bishop by Saint Martin of Tours ((f.d.
          November 11), who had been dead for some time). It is said that Count
          Grallo I of Cornouaille (died c. 445) gave his palace at Quimper to
          serve as the home and cathedral of the new bishop. An ancient cross
          stands near his church. Corentin participated in the council of Angers
          in 453 and signed the canons under the name Charaton. He was said to
          have been a friend of Guennole (?).

          Corentin's relics were translated to Marmoutier at Tours in 878 to
          protect them from destruction at the hands of the Normans (Attwater 2,
          Benedictines, Coulson, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).


          St. Agatha of Wimborne, Nun
          --------------------------------------------------------
          Died c. 790. Saint Agatha, a Benedictine nun at Wimborne, crossed the
          English Channel to Germany with her mentor Saint Lioba (f.d. September
          28) in order to help Saint Boniface (f.d. June 5) in his missionary
          labours (Benedictines).


          Sources:
          ========

          Attwater, D. (1983). The Penguin Dictionary of Saints,
          2nd edition, revised and updated by Catherine Rachel John.
          New York: Penguin Books.

          Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
          (1947). The Book of Saints. NY: Macmillan.

          Coulson, J. (ed.). (1960). The Saints: A Concise Biographical
          Dictionary. New York: Hawthorn Books.

          D'Arcy, M. R. (1974). The Saints of Ireland. Saint Paul, Minnesota:
          Irish American Cultural Institute. [This is probably the most
          useful book to choose to own on the Irish saints. The author
          provides a great deal of historical context in which to place the
          lives of the saints.]

          Delaney, J. J. (1983). Pocket Dictionary of Saints.
          New York: Doubleday Image.

          Encyclopaedia of Catholic Saints, October. (1966).
          Philadelphia: Chilton Books.

          Farmer, D. H. (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Saints.
          Oxford: Oxford University Press.

          Healy, J. (1902). Ireland's Ancient Schools and Scholars.
          Dublin: Sealy, Bryers and Walker.

          Husenbeth, Rev. F. C., DD, VG (ed.). (1928). Butler's
          Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints.
          London: Virtue & Co.

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

          Ryan, J. (1931). Irish Monasticism. Dublin: Talbot Press.

          For All the Saints:
          http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/ss-index.htm

          An Alphabetical Index of the Saints of the West
          http://www.orthodoxengland.btinternet.co.uk/saintsa.htm

          These Lives are archived at:
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints
          ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤
        • ambrois@xtra.co.nz
          Celtic and Old English Saints 12 December =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Finnian of Clonard * St. Columba of Tyrdaglas * St.
          Message 4 of 14 , Dec 10, 2010
            Celtic and Old English Saints 12 December

            =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
            * St. Finnian of Clonard
            * St. Columba of Tyrdaglas
            * St. Cormac
            * St. Edburga of Thanet
            * St. Colman of Glendalough
            * St. Corentin
            * St. Agatha of Wimborne
            =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


            St. Finnian of Clonard, Bishop
            (Finian, Finden, Vennianus, Vinnianus)
            --------------------------------------------------------
            Born in Leinster, Ireland, c. 470; died at Clonard (Cluain-Irard) Abbey
            in Meath, Ireland, December 12, c. 552 (but the date ranges from
            549-564).

            Saint Finnian was an Irish monk who followed in the path of Saint
            Patrick, whose disciples, including Saint Fortchern (f.d. February 17),
            instructed him in the essentials of Christian virtue, and himself
            initiated a strict form of Irish monasticism. Along with Saint Enda of
            Aran (f.d. March 21), he is regarded as the founder of Irish
            monasticism. He had close relations with the British Church.

            He is said to have been born into a noble family at Myshall, County
            Carlow, Ireland. He probably also received his education in that
            district, where he also made his first three foundations at Rossacurra,
            Drumfea, and Kilmaglush. Thereafter, he spent several years in Wales,
            where he was trained in monasticism by Saints Cadoc of Llancarfan (f.d.
            September 25), David of Menevia (f.d. March 1), and Gildas (f.d. January
            29). He lived on bread, herbs, and water, and on the bare ground with a
            stone for his pillow. About 520, Finnian returned to Ireland, armed with
            the sanctity and sacred learning to reinvigorate the faith of his
            countrymen.

            To further God's work, he founded churches and several monasteries,
            including Aghowle (County Wicklow) and Mugna Sulcain. His most notable
            foundation was Clonard on the Boyne in Meath, which was the greatest
            school of the period, renowned for several centuries for its biblical
            studies (Finnian was a great Biblical scholar). During his abbacy, he is
            said to have gathered 3,000 disciples at Clonard. As each left the
            monastery to preach, he took with him a Book of the Gospels, a crozier,
            and a reliquary around which he would built a church or monastery.

            The rule of Clonard is believed to be based on the Rule of Lerins.
            Finnian corresponded with Saint Gildas on matters of monastic
            discipline, who had deplored the intrusion of wealth and power into the
            episcopal office in Britain. Perhaps this was an influence in
            development of a monastic rather than episcopal government within the
            Irish Church.

            He is often called the "Teacher of Irish Saints." At one time his pupils
            at Clonard included the so-called Twelve Apostles of Ireland:

            Brendan of Birr (f.d. November 29)
            Brendan the Voyager (f.d. May 16)
            Cainnech (f.d. October 11)
            Ciaran of Clommacnois (f.d. September 9)
            Columba of Iona (f.d. June 9)
            Columba of Terryglass (f.d. today)
            Comgall of Bangor (f.d. May 11)
            Finian of Moville (f.d. September 10)
            Kieran of Saigher (f.d. March 5)
            Mobhi (f.d. October 12)
            Molaise (Laserian) of Devendish (f.d. August 12)
            Ninidh of Inismacsaint (f.d. January 18)
            Ruadhan of Lothra (f.d. April 15)
            Sinell of Cleenish (f.d.October 12).

            (You might note that this is more than 12; this is a very elastic twelve
            with different saints added at different times)

            He died at Clonard of the yellow plague, which swept the country.
            According to his biographer: "As Paul died in Rome for the sake of the
            Christian people lest they should all perish in hell, so Finnian died at
            Clonard for the sake of the people of the Gael, that they might not all
            perish of the yellow pest." His relics were enshrined at Clonard until
            they were destroyed in 887.

            His monastery at Clonard survived the Viking raids, Norman aggressions,
            and native strife, but not the Reformation, at which time it was
            suppressed. At one point Clonard was converted into a house of
            Augustinian canons, from whom there survives an office of Saint Finnian
            with some elements taken from an otherwise unknown source. The
            Protestant church of Clonard now houses an 11th-century, grey marble
            baptismal font with figures from the Scriptures sculpted on its eight
            panels as well as a stone head from the former abbey. All other traces
            of Finnian's tomb, church, and abbey have been eradicated.

            The contemporary collection of regulations for penitents, ascribed to
            Vinnianus, was probably not the work of this Finnian but perhaps by
            Finnian of Moville (f.d. September 10; d. c. 579). This oldest surviving
            penitentiary is based on Welsh and Irish sources, as well as on those of
            Saints Jerome (f.d. September 30) and John Cassian (f.d. July 23), and
            influenced a similar work by Saint Columbanus (f.d. November 23). The
            feast of Saint Finnian is observed throughout Ireland (Attwater,
            Attwater 2, Benedictines, Coulson, D'Arcy, Delaney, Encyclopaedia,
            Farmer, Healy, Husenbeth, Montague, Ryan).

            Troparion of St Finnian of Clonard tone 8
            Truly thou art the 'Tutor of the Saints of Ireland', O Founder of
            Clonard, great Father Finnian./ As thou didst tirelessly teach the faith
            in thy native land,/ so teach us to follow thy example that many may
            come to know Christ and be led into the Way of Salvation.

            More information:

            December 12 on the Church Calendar, sees the commemoration of one of our
            most important Irish fathers of monasticism - Finnian of Clonard 'tutor of
            the saints of Ireland'. Below is a paper on the life of Saint Finnian from
            the Irish Ecclesiastical Record which records what is traditionally known of
            him. Modern scholars are engaged in a debate as to whether Finnian of
            Clonard, Uinnau the Briton, Finnian of Moville, Finbarr of Cork and Ninnian
            of Candida Casa are all one and the same person. In the nineteenth century,
            however, when this paper was written, all of these saints were viewed as
            distinct individuals, and the writer brings together some of the stories
            told of Saint Finnian as founder of Clonard and of the many saints who
            flourished under his tutelage. Saint Finnian is also the patron of the
            Russian Orthodox parish in Belfast, so we wish the joy of our patronal
            festival. Holy Father Finnian, pray to God for us!

            ST. FINNIAN OF CLONARD.

            SAINT FINNIAN of Clonard, " Tutor of the Saints of Ireland," lived in the
            sixth century. He was a native of Leinster ; his birthplace is generally
            supposed to have been near the present town of New Ross. Saint Finnian was
            of the race of Ir, and belonged to the Clan na Rudhraidhe. His name appears
            to be a diminutive of Finn, "white." He was a contemporary of Finnian of
            Moville, whose name comes next in the list of saints of the second class.

            Saint Abban baptized Finnian, and at an early age he was placed under the
            care of Bishop Fortchern of Trim. With him he remained thirty years. At the
            end of that period Finnian proceeded to Britain, and settled at Kilmuine or
            Menevia, where he placed himself under David, Gildas, and Cadoc. David was
            grandson of an Irish prince, Bracan. He taught St. Aidan of Ferns, was first
            Bishop of Menevia, and died A.D. 589. Gildas was the author of De Excidio
            Britannia, according to the Annals of Ulster. He died A.D 570. Cadoc is
            represented as cousin to St. David, and was a pupil of St. Thaddeus, an
            Irishman. Saint Finnian is said to have founded three churches in Britain,
            but they have not been identified. While a monk at the monastery of St.
            David, Finnian on one occasion was asked to supply the place of oeconomus,
            or house steward, in the absence of the monk who generally filled that
            office. Finnian replied that he would be unable to do so, as he was
            unprovided with the necessary requirements for carrying wood and provisions.
            His superior having insisted on his undertaking the task, Finnian obeyed,
            and we read in his life that an angel came to his assistance. What before
            had seemed an impossibility he was able to accomplish by the aid of this
            heavenly messenger.

            How long Finnian remained at St. David's monastery is uncertain. Lanigan
            thinks he returned to Ireland about A.D. 520. Before leaving Britain Finnian
            determined to undertake a journey to Rome, but an angel warned him not to do
            so, but to return to his own country " Redite ad vestras plebes, Deus enim
            acceptat intentionem Vestram." Finnian was accompanied to Ireland by several
            friends, among whom special mention is made of Biteus and Genoc. On his
            passage to Ireland, says Dr. Lanigan, he stopped a while with his friend
            Caimin, and landed at the port Kille-Caireni, in Wexford.

            Finnian sent messengers to Muiredeach, sovereign of Ky-Kinsellagh, asking
            permission to enter his territory. The king generously acceded to his
            request, and came himself to see Finnian, in whose presence Muiredeach
            prostrated himself on the ground, and promised the saint a site for a
            monastery. Saint Finnian erected an establishment at Achadh Abhla ; i.e.,
            "Field of the Apple-Tree," which now bears the name Aghowle, or Aghold, in
            the barony of Shillelagh, County Wicklow. It was anciently called Crosalech.
            Here St. Finnian resided for sixteen years. At Mughna, County Carlow, he
            erected another monastery, and is said to have lectured there for seven
            years on the Sacred Scriptures. It is probably while there that he preached
            on one occasion in presence of St. Brigid.

            We now approach the most important event in St. Finnian's life in his
            settlement at Clonard, County Meath, which during his lifetime became the
            most celebrated sanctuary in Ireland for piety and learning. Cluain-Eraird
            i. e., Erard's Lawn or Meadow is the derivation given by O'Donovan. Erard
            was a man's name, very common in Ireland, signifying lofty or noble. Again,
            we find it related in the saint's life that an angel appeared to him
            directing him as to where he should take up his abode. Saint Finnian entered
            Clonard repeating the psalm " Haec requies mea in Saeculum Saeculi hic
            habitabo quoniam elegi eam."

            The date of the saint's arrival at Clonard is said to be about A.D. 530. It
            is a matter of doubt whether St. Finnian was a bishop. The Four Masters
            simply term him abbot. Such is the title accorded to him in the Martyrology
            of Donegal and other Irish calendars. Dr. Lanigan seems to think that St.
            Finnian was only abbot. It is, doubtless, a fact that Clonard was an
            episcopal see, but it is quite possible that it did not become so till after
            Finnian's time. His successor at Clonard, St. Seanach, is called bishop by
            the Four Masters. The school of Clonard in a short time became famous in
            Ireland. Those great men who were afterward called the Twelve Apostles of
            Ireland came to seek instruction from Finnian viz., Columba, the two
            Brendans, Ciaran of Saigher, his namesake of Clonmacnoise, Columb of
            Tir-da-ghlas, Mobhi Claraineach, Molaish, Canice, and Ruadhan of Lothra.
            Three thousand scholars are said to have been educated at Clonard during the
            saint's lifetime, and the holy founder was justly termed "Magister Sanctorum
            Hiberniae sui temporis." In the Life of St. Ciaran of Clonmacnoise we read :
            " In schola sapientissimi magistri Finniani plures Sancti Hibernise erant ;"
            and in that of St. Columb of Tir-da-ghlas : "Audiens famam S. Finniani
            Episcopi de Cluain-Eraird, ut Sacram Scripturam addisceret accessit ;" and,
            lastly, we find it said of St. Ruadhan :"Legens diversas Scripturas et
            multum proficiens in eis." Colgan enumerates thirty two saints who received
            instruction from St. Finnian, and bears testimony of the fame of Clonard,
            where students assembled from various parts of Europe.

            Saint Finnian did not permit his multifarious labours in behalf of learning
            to interfere with his duties towards the needy and afflicted. We read in his
            life that he was a father to all who sought help from him: " Flebat cum
            flentibus." "Infirmabatur enim cum infirmis." On a certain occasion a bard
            named German presented St. Finnian with a beautiful poem, in which many of
            his virtues were extolled; the bard demanded from the saint not gold or
            silver, or any worldly substance, but only fertility of produce in his
            lands. Finnian answered him, and said : "Sing over water the hymn which thou
            hast composed, and sprinkle the land with that water." The bard did as he
            was directed, and his land produced abundant fruit.

            In the historical tale "The Expedition of the Sons of Carra," published by
            O' Curry in his MS. Materials of Ancient Irish History, we have a
            description of St. Finnian's interviews with the three brothers, who had
            plundered the churches of Connaught. O 'Curry observes that while these
            tales often contain matter without resemblance to facts, we are not to
            reject them wholly on that account, but rather make allowance for poetic
            embellishment, at the same time having good ground for believing that a
            foundation of truth exists. The story is as follows : -

            " Three brothers actuated by an evil spirit plundered the churches of
            Connaught. In their wicked enterprise they were joined by a band of
            adventurers as daring as themselves. They commenced by pillaging the Church
            of Tuam, and never ceased till they had laid waste more than half the
            churches of the province. When the three brothers arrived at the Church of
            Clothar, they determined to kill the old man, who was the Airchennech of
            that place ; he was their grandfather; but he, though suspecting their evil
            design, treated them with kindness, and assigned to them a comfortable
            resting-place. Lochan, the eldest of the three brothers, that night had a
            vision, which alarmed him so much that he became conscience-stricken. He saw
            represented before him the eternal joys of heaven and the torments of hell.
            When morning came he acquainted his brothers of what he saw, and like him
            they felt remorse for their wicked deeds. The brothers Carra sought the
            pardon and prayers of their grandfather. They took counsel with the old man
            as to what course they should pursue in order to obtain God's forgiveness
            and to make reparation for the past. He told them to repair to St. Finnian,
            the great teacher, and to submit themselves to his spiritual direction. The
            Ua Carra immediately put off their warlike attire, and donned the garb of
            pilgrims, and with staves instead of swords hastened to Clonard. At their
            approach the inhabitants fled, for the fame of their evil deeds had spread
            far and wide. St. Finnian alone came out to meet them ; the brothers threw
            themselves on their knees, and besought his friendship and pardon. ' What do
            you want, said Finnian.' ' We want,' said they, ' to take upon us the habit
            of religion and penitence, and henceforward to serve God.' ' Your
            determination is a good one,' said Finnian, ' let us come into the town,
            where my people are.' They entered the town, and Finnian took counsel with
            his people respecting the penitents. It was decided that they should be
            placed for the space of a year under the direction of a certain divinity
            student, with whom alone they were to converse during that period. The Ua
            Carra faithfully complied with the mode of life laid out for them, and when
            the year expired presented themselves before St. Finnian for his
            benediction. The saint blessed them, saying, ' You cannot restore to life
            the innocent ecclesiastics whom you have slain, but you can go and repair,
            and restore as far as is in your power, the churches and other buildings
            which you have ruined.' The sons of Ua Carra took an affectionate leave of
            St. Finnian, and as the Church of Tuam was the first which suffered from
            their plundering, they wished it to be the first that they should restore.
            They repaired it, and proceeded from place to place, making amends for the
            injury they had inflicted on the churches of Connaught. Having restored all
            the churches but one, the Ua Carra returned to St. Finnian, who inquired if
            they had finished their work. They replied, 'We have repaired all the
            churches but one.' ' Which is that?'asked Finnian. 'The Church of Ceann Mara
            (Kinvara),' they said. ' Alas !' said the saint, ' this was the first church
            you ought to have repaired the church of the holy man Coman ; return now,
            and repair every damage, you have done to that place.' The brothers obeyed
            St. Finnian's command, and restored the church. By the advice of St. Coman
            they built a canoe, and undertook a voyage on the Atlantic Ocean."

            Thus far the tale refers to St. Finnian ; the voyage and its results does
            not come within the scope of this paper.

            St. Finnian's mode of life was very austere, his usual food was bread and
            herbs ; on festival days he allowed himself a little beer or whey ; he slept
            on the bare grounds, and a stone served him for a pillow.

            In his last illness the saint was attended by his former pupil St. Colomb,
            of Tir-da-Ghlas, who administered to him the Holy Viaticum. The Four Masters
            record his death A.D. 548; but the year 550 or 551 appears to be the correct
            date. It is stated in some of our annals that Finnian died of the plague ;
            there is no doubt that the plague was in Ireland during this period, viz.,
            548 and 551. In the Chronicon Scotorum, under 551, we read : "A great
            mortality, i. e., the Chronn Conaill." St. Finnian is enumerated among its
            victims.

            This great saint is commemorated by Oenghus in the following verse :

            " A Tower of Gold over the sea,
            May he bring help to my soul,
            Is Finnian fair, the beloved root
            Of the great Cluain-Eraird."

            St. Finnian's sister, St. Regnach, was Abbess of Kilreynagh, near the
            present town of Banagher, King's County.

            Hardy, in his Descriptive Catalogue of British History, mentions four lives
            of St. Finnian: viz., Ex. MS. Salmanticensis (which is given by Colgan) ;
            MS. Life, Duke of Devonshire ; MS. Trinity College, Dublin, referred to by
            Bishop Nicholson in his Irish Historical Library ; and MS. Bodleian Library,
            which begins thus : " Fuit vir nobilia in Hiberniae partibus." (Hardy's
            Catalogue, p. 128, vol. i., part 1.)

            December 12th (the day of his death) is observed as his Feast.

            JOHN M. THUNDER.

            Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Volume 13 (1892), 810-815.



            St. Columba (Colm) of Tyrdaglas, Abbot
            --------------------------------------------------------
            Born in Leinster, Ireland; died 548; feast may also be December 13.
            Saint Columba, son of the Leinster noble named Crimthain, was a disciple
            of Saint Finnian (f.d. today) and himself became a great master of the
            spiritual life.

            Finnian often had Saint Senach (f.d. March 8) keep an eye on the younger
            seminarians at Clonard. Once Senach reported back to the holy abbot that
            he found Columba kneeling in prayer, oblivious to everything about him,
            with his arms stretched out to heaven and the birds alighting on his
            shoulders. Finnian replied, "He is the one who will offer the Holy
            Sacrifice for me at my death."

            After founding and governing the monastery of Tyrdaglas on the Shannon
            in Munster, Saint Columba died of the plague. He is generally described
            as one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland and is also the co-founder of
            Clonenagh with Saint Fintan (f.d. February 17) who became its second
            abbot, and of Iniscaltra (Holy Island in the Shannon) (Benedictines,
            D'Arcy, Healy, Husenbeth, Montague, Ryan).

            Troparion of St Columba of Leinster tone 8
            O pious Columba, as a disciple of our Father Finnian and a renowned
            struggler, thou didst shine forth in the ascetic life./ O Ireland's
            treasure, cease not to pray for those who labour, weeping and repenting,
            for the salvation of their souls.


            St. Cormac, Abbot
            --------------------------------------------------------
            6th century. The eminently holy, ancient Irish abbot, Saint Cormac, was
            friend of Saint Columba (f.d. June 9), according to Adamnan
            (Benedictines, Husenbeth).


            St. Edburga (Eadburh) of Thanet, Abbess & Virgin
            --------------------------------------------------------
            Died 751. Saint Edburga, one of the royal family of Kent, succeeded
            Saint Mildred (f.d. July 13) as abbess of Minster in Thanet. She is
            known chiefly from Saint Boniface's (f.d. June 5) letters to her, in
            which he thanks her for books, altar vestments, and other 'tokens of
            affection' she had sent him and for the 'spiritual light' conveyed in
            her letters. She had a new church built for her convent at Minster to
            which she translated the relics of Saint Mildred. Edburga is also known
            for her talent as a calligrapher. Her own relics were translated to
            Saint Gregory's Church in Canterbury in 1055 (Attwater, Attwater 2,
            Benedictines, Coulson, Husenbeth).


            St. Colman of Glendalough, Abbot
            --------------------------------------------------------
            Died 659. An abbot Colman of Glendalough is mentioned in the Irish
            calendars (Benedictines, Husenbeth).

            Troparion of St Colman of Glendalough tone 8
            Giving thy life to Christ in monastic poverty, thou didst teach us a
            God-pleasing set of values, O Father Colman./ Wherefore intercede with
            Christ our God that He will instil in us constancy of faith, patience in
            trials and freedom from worldliness that we may be found worthy of His
            great mercy.


            St. Corentin (Cury)
            --------------------------------------------------------
            Died c. 490 (though some claim him for the 6th century); a second feast
            day on May 1 is probably in honour of his translation. There may be some
            confusion between Corentinus, first bishop of Cornouaille (Quimper),
            Brittany, and the saintly founder and patron of Cury (Corentin) on
            Lizard Island of Cornwall (died 401?) whose feast is also today, and
            whose cultus spread throughout southwestern England and Wales. This
            second was a hermit at the foot of Mount Menehont in Devonshire, who
            preached with great success and is said to have died there. They may be
            two people or one; however, in 1890, a fresco was
            discovered at Breage (the mother-church of Lizard), which depicts Saint
            Corentin/Cury in a cope and mitre with the pastoral staff of a bishop.
            Beside him is a fish, from which he was reputed to have cut and eaten
            one slice each day, without any diminution in the size of the fish.

            The story that unites the two claims that Corentin was a Celtic hermit
            who retired to the forest of Plomodiern, where he lived in solitude for
            several years. After the death of Marcellus, who had subscribed to the
            first council of Tours, and the several other British bishops who
            migrated to Brittany, new pastors were needed for the British in
            Armorica who were familiar with the language and customs. Thus, Corentin
            was recruited and consecrated bishop by Saint Martin of Tours ((f.d.
            November 11), who had been dead for some time). It is said that Count
            Grallo I of Cornouaille (died c. 445) gave his palace at Quimper to
            serve as the home and cathedral of the new bishop. An ancient cross
            stands near his church. Corentin participated in the council of Angers
            in 453 and signed the canons under the name Charaton. He was said to
            have been a friend of Guennole (?).

            Corentin's relics were translated to Marmoutier at Tours in 878 to
            protect them from destruction at the hands of the Normans (Attwater 2,
            Benedictines, Coulson, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).


            St. Agatha of Wimborne, Nun
            --------------------------------------------------------
            Died c. 790. Saint Agatha, a Benedictine nun at Wimborne, crossed the
            English Channel to Germany with her mentor Saint Lioba (f.d. September
            28) in order to help Saint Boniface (f.d. June 5) in his missionary
            labours (Benedictines).


            Sources:
            ========

            Attwater, D. (1983). The Penguin Dictionary of Saints,
            2nd edition, revised and updated by Catherine Rachel John.
            New York: Penguin Books.

            Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
            (1947). The Book of Saints. NY: Macmillan.

            Coulson, J. (ed.). (1960). The Saints: A Concise Biographical
            Dictionary. New York: Hawthorn Books.

            D'Arcy, M. R. (1974). The Saints of Ireland. Saint Paul, Minnesota:
            Irish American Cultural Institute. [This is probably the most
            useful book to choose to own on the Irish saints. The author
            provides a great deal of historical context in which to place the
            lives of the saints.]

            Delaney, J. J. (1983). Pocket Dictionary of Saints.
            New York: Doubleday Image.

            Encyclopaedia of Catholic Saints, October. (1966).
            Philadelphia: Chilton Books.

            Farmer, D. H. (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Saints.
            Oxford: Oxford University Press.

            Healy, J. (1902). Ireland's Ancient Schools and Scholars.
            Dublin: Sealy, Bryers and Walker.

            Husenbeth, Rev. F. C., DD, VG (ed.). (1928). Butler's
            Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints.
            London: Virtue & Co.

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

            Ryan, J. (1931). Irish Monasticism. Dublin: Talbot Press.

            For All the Saints:
            http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/ss-index.htm

            An Alphabetical Index of the Saints of the West
            http://www.orthodoxengland.btinternet.co.uk/saintsa.htm

            These Lives are archived at:
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints
            ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤
          • ambrois
            Celtic and Old English Saints 12 December =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Finnian of Clonard * St. Columba of Tyrdaglas * St.
            Message 5 of 14 , Dec 11, 2011
              Celtic and Old English Saints          12 December

              =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
              * St. Finnian of Clonard
              * St. Columba of Tyrdaglas
              * St. Cormac
              * St. Edburga of Thanet
              * St. Colman of Glendalough
              * St. Corentin
              * St. Agatha of Wimborne
              =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


              St. Finnian of Clonard, Bishop
              (Finian, Finden, Vennianus, Vinnianus)
              --------------------------------------------------------
              Born in Leinster, Ireland, c. 470; died at Clonard (Cluain-Irard) Abbey
              in Meath, Ireland, December 12, c. 552 (but the date ranges from
              549-564).

              Saint Finnian was an Irish monk who followed in the path of Saint
              Patrick, whose disciples, including Saint Fortchern (f.d. February 17),
              instructed him in the essentials of Christian virtue, and himself
              initiated a strict form of Irish monasticism. Along with Saint Enda of
              Aran (f.d. March 21), he is regarded as the founder of Irish
              monasticism. He had close relations with the British Church.

              He is said to have been born into a noble family at Myshall, County
              Carlow, Ireland. He probably also received his education in that
              district, where he also made his first three foundations at Rossacurra,
              Drumfea, and Kilmaglush. Thereafter, he spent several years in Wales,
              where he was trained in monasticism by Saints Cadoc of Llancarfan (f.d.
              September 25), David of Menevia (f.d. March 1), and Gildas (f.d. January
              29). He lived on bread, herbs, and water, and on the bare ground with a
              stone for his pillow. About 520, Finnian returned to Ireland, armed with
              the sanctity and sacred learning to reinvigorate the faith of his
              countrymen.

              To further God's work, he founded churches and several monasteries,
              including Aghowle (County Wicklow) and Mugna Sulcain. His most notable
              foundation was Clonard on the Boyne in Meath, which was the greatest
              school of the period, renowned for several centuries for its biblical
              studies (Finnian was a great Biblical scholar). During his abbacy, he is
              said to have gathered 3,000 disciples at Clonard. As each left the
              monastery to preach, he took with him a Book of the Gospels, a crozier,
              and a reliquary around which he would built a church or monastery.

              The rule of Clonard is believed to be based on the Rule of Lerins.
              Finnian corresponded with Saint Gildas on matters of monastic
              discipline, who had deplored the intrusion of wealth and power into the
              episcopal office in Britain. Perhaps this was an influence in
              development of a monastic rather than episcopal government within the
              Irish Church.

              He is often called the "Teacher of Irish Saints." At one time his pupils
              at Clonard included the so-called Twelve Apostles of Ireland:

              Brendan of Birr (f.d. November 29)
              Brendan the Voyager (f.d. May 16)
              Cainnech (f.d. October 11)
              Ciaran of Clommacnois (f.d. September 9)
              Columba of Iona (f.d. June 9)
              Columba of Terryglass (f.d. today)
              Comgall of Bangor (f.d. May 11)
              Finian of Moville (f.d. September 10)
              Kieran of Saigher (f.d. March 5)
              Mobhi (f.d. October 12)
              Molaise (Laserian) of Devendish (f.d. August 12)
              Ninidh of Inismacsaint (f.d. January 18)
              Ruadhan of Lothra (f.d. April 15)
              Sinell of Cleenish (f.d.October 12).

              (You might note that this is more than 12; this is a very elastic twelve
              with different saints added at different times)

              He died at Clonard of the yellow plague, which swept the country.
              According to his biographer: "As Paul died in Rome for the sake of the
              Christian people lest they should all perish in hell, so Finnian died at
              Clonard for the sake of the people of the Gael, that they might not all
              perish of the yellow pest." His relics were enshrined at Clonard until
              they were destroyed in 887.

              His monastery at Clonard survived the Viking raids, Norman aggressions,
              and native strife, but not the Reformation, at which time it was
              suppressed. At one point Clonard was converted into a house of
              Augustinian canons, from whom there survives an office of Saint Finnian
              with some elements taken from an otherwise unknown source. The
              Protestant church of Clonard now houses an 11th-century, grey marble
              baptismal font with figures from the Scriptures sculpted on its eight
              panels as well as a stone head from the former abbey. All other traces
              of Finnian's tomb, church, and abbey have been eradicated.

              The contemporary collection of regulations for penitents, ascribed to
              Vinnianus, was probably not the work of this Finnian but perhaps by
              Finnian of Moville (f.d. September 10; d. c. 579). This oldest surviving
              penitentiary is based on Welsh and Irish sources, as well as on those of
              Saints Jerome (f.d. September 30) and John Cassian (f.d. July 23), and
              influenced a similar work by Saint Columbanus (f.d. November 23). The
              feast of Saint Finnian is observed throughout Ireland (Attwater,
              Attwater 2, Benedictines, Coulson, D'Arcy, Delaney, Encyclopaedia,
              Farmer, Healy, Husenbeth, Montague, Ryan).

              Troparion of St Finnian of Clonard tone 8
              Truly thou art the 'Tutor of the Saints of Ireland', O Founder of
              Clonard, great Father Finnian./ As thou didst tirelessly teach the faith
              in thy native land,/ so teach us to follow thy example that many may
              come to know Christ and be led into the Way of Salvation.

              More information:

              December 12 on the Church Calendar, sees the commemoration of one of our
              most important Irish fathers of monasticism - Finnian of Clonard 'tutor of
              the saints of Ireland'. Below is a paper on the life of Saint Finnian from
              the Irish Ecclesiastical Record which records what is traditionally known of
              him. Modern scholars are engaged in a debate as to whether Finnian of
              Clonard, Uinnau the Briton, Finnian of Moville, Finbarr of Cork and Ninnian
              of Candida Casa are all one and the same person. In the nineteenth century,
              however, when this paper was written, all of these saints were viewed as
              distinct individuals, and the writer brings together some of the stories
              told of Saint Finnian as founder of Clonard and of the many saints who
              flourished under his tutelage. Saint Finnian is also the patron of the
              Russian Orthodox parish in Belfast, so we wish the joy of our patronal
              festival. Holy Father Finnian, pray to God for us!

              ST. FINNIAN OF CLONARD.

              SAINT FINNIAN of Clonard, " Tutor of the Saints of Ireland," lived in the
              sixth century. He was a native of Leinster ; his birthplace is generally
              supposed to have been near the present town of New Ross. Saint Finnian was
              of the race of Ir, and belonged to the Clan na Rudhraidhe. His name appears
              to be a diminutive of Finn, "white." He was a contemporary of Finnian of
              Moville, whose name comes next in the list of saints of the second class.

              Saint Abban baptized Finnian, and at an early age he was placed under the
              care of Bishop Fortchern of Trim. With him he remained thirty years. At the
              end of that period Finnian proceeded to Britain, and settled at Kilmuine or
              Menevia, where he placed himself under David, Gildas, and Cadoc. David was
              grandson of an Irish prince, Bracan. He taught St. Aidan of Ferns, was first
              Bishop of Menevia, and died A.D. 589. Gildas was the author of De Excidio
              Britannia, according to the Annals of Ulster. He died A.D 570. Cadoc is
              represented as cousin to St. David, and was a pupil of St. Thaddeus, an
              Irishman. Saint Finnian is said to have founded three churches in Britain,
              but they have not been identified. While a monk at the monastery of St.
              David, Finnian on one occasion was asked to supply the place of oeconomus,
              or house steward, in the absence of the monk who generally filled that
              office. Finnian replied that he would be unable to do so, as he was
              unprovided with the necessary requirements for carrying wood and provisions.
              His superior having insisted on his undertaking the task, Finnian obeyed,
              and we read in his life that an angel came to his assistance. What before
              had seemed an impossibility he was able to accomplish by the aid of this
              heavenly messenger.

              How long Finnian remained at St. David's monastery is uncertain. Lanigan
              thinks he returned to Ireland about A.D. 520. Before leaving Britain Finnian
              determined to undertake a journey to Rome, but an angel warned him not to do
              so, but to return to his own country " Redite ad vestras plebes, Deus enim
              acceptat intentionem Vestram." Finnian was accompanied to Ireland by several
              friends, among whom special mention is made of Biteus and Genoc. On his
              passage to Ireland, says Dr. Lanigan, he stopped a while with his friend
              Caimin, and landed at the port Kille-Caireni, in Wexford.

              Finnian sent messengers to Muiredeach, sovereign of Ky-Kinsellagh, asking
              permission to enter his territory. The king generously acceded to his
              request, and came himself to see Finnian, in whose presence Muiredeach
              prostrated himself on the ground, and promised the saint a site for a
              monastery. Saint Finnian erected an establishment at Achadh Abhla ; i.e.,
              "Field of the Apple-Tree," which now bears the name Aghowle, or Aghold, in
              the barony of Shillelagh, County Wicklow. It was anciently called Crosalech.
              Here St. Finnian resided for sixteen years. At Mughna, County Carlow, he
              erected another monastery, and is said to have lectured there for seven
              years on the Sacred Scriptures. It is probably while there that he preached
              on one occasion in presence of St. Brigid.

              We now approach the most important event in St. Finnian's life in his
              settlement at Clonard, County Meath, which during his lifetime became the
              most celebrated sanctuary in Ireland for piety and learning. Cluain-Eraird
              i. e., Erard's Lawn or Meadow is the derivation given by O'Donovan. Erard
              was a man's name, very common in Ireland, signifying lofty or noble. Again,
              we find it related in the saint's life that an angel appeared to him
              directing him as to where he should take up his abode. Saint Finnian entered
              Clonard repeating the psalm " Haec requies mea in Saeculum Saeculi hic
              habitabo quoniam elegi eam."

              The date of the saint's arrival at Clonard is said to be about A.D. 530. It
              is a matter of doubt whether St. Finnian was a bishop. The Four Masters
              simply term him abbot. Such is the title accorded to him in the Martyrology
              of Donegal and other Irish calendars. Dr. Lanigan seems to think that St.
              Finnian was only abbot. It is, doubtless, a fact that Clonard was an
              episcopal see, but it is quite possible that it did not become so till after
              Finnian's time. His successor at Clonard, St. Seanach, is called bishop by
              the Four Masters. The school of Clonard in a short time became famous in
              Ireland. Those great men who were afterward called the Twelve Apostles of
              Ireland came to seek instruction from Finnian viz., Columba, the two
              Brendans, Ciaran of Saigher, his namesake of Clonmacnoise, Columb of
              Tir-da-ghlas, Mobhi Claraineach, Molaish, Canice, and Ruadhan of Lothra.
              Three thousand scholars are said to have been educated at Clonard during the
              saint's lifetime, and the holy founder was justly termed "Magister Sanctorum
              Hiberniae sui temporis." In the Life of St. Ciaran of Clonmacnoise we read :
              " In schola sapientissimi magistri Finniani plures Sancti Hibernise erant ;"
              and in that of St. Columb of Tir-da-ghlas : "Audiens famam S. Finniani
              Episcopi de Cluain-Eraird, ut Sacram Scripturam addisceret accessit ;" and,
              lastly, we find it said of St. Ruadhan :"Legens diversas Scripturas et
              multum proficiens in eis." Colgan enumerates thirty two saints who received
              instruction from St. Finnian, and bears testimony of the fame of Clonard,
              where students assembled from various parts of Europe.

              Saint Finnian did not permit his multifarious labours in behalf of learning
              to interfere with his duties towards the needy and afflicted. We read in his
              life that he was a father to all who sought help from him: " Flebat cum
              flentibus." "Infirmabatur enim cum infirmis." On a certain occasion a bard
              named German presented St. Finnian with a beautiful poem, in which many of
              his virtues were extolled; the bard demanded from the saint not gold or
              silver, or any worldly substance, but only fertility of produce in his
              lands. Finnian answered him, and said : "Sing over water the hymn which thou
              hast composed, and sprinkle the land with that water." The bard did as he
              was directed, and his land produced abundant fruit.

              In the historical tale "The Expedition of the Sons of Carra," published by
              O' Curry in his MS. Materials of Ancient Irish History, we have a
              description of St. Finnian's interviews with the three brothers, who had
              plundered the churches of Connaught. O 'Curry observes that while these
              tales often contain matter without resemblance to facts, we are not to
              reject them wholly on that account, but rather make allowance for poetic
              embellishment, at the same time having good ground for believing that a
              foundation of truth exists. The story is as follows : -

              " Three brothers actuated by an evil spirit plundered the churches of
              Connaught. In their wicked enterprise they were joined by a band of
              adventurers as daring as themselves. They commenced by pillaging the Church
              of Tuam, and never ceased till they had laid waste more than half the
              churches of the province. When the three brothers arrived at the Church of
              Clothar, they determined to kill the old man, who was the Airchennech of
              that place ; he was their grandfather; but he, though suspecting their evil
              design, treated them with kindness, and assigned to them a comfortable
              resting-place. Lochan, the eldest of the three brothers, that night had a
              vision, which alarmed him so much that he became conscience-stricken. He saw
              represented before him the eternal joys of heaven and the torments of hell.
              When morning came he acquainted his brothers of what he saw, and like him
              they felt remorse for their wicked deeds. The brothers Carra sought the
              pardon and prayers of their grandfather. They took counsel with the old man
              as to what course they should pursue in order to obtain God's forgiveness
              and to make reparation for the past. He told them to repair to St. Finnian,
              the great teacher, and to submit themselves to his spiritual direction. The
              Ua Carra immediately put off their warlike attire, and donned the garb of
              pilgrims, and with staves instead of swords hastened to Clonard. At their
              approach the inhabitants fled, for the fame of their evil deeds had spread
              far and wide. St. Finnian alone came out to meet them ; the brothers threw
              themselves on their knees, and besought his friendship and pardon. ' What do
              you want, said Finnian.' ' We want,' said they, ' to take upon us the habit
              of religion and penitence, and henceforward to serve God.' ' Your
              determination is a good one,' said Finnian, ' let us come into the town,
              where my people are.' They entered the town, and Finnian took counsel with
              his people respecting the penitents. It was decided that they should be
              placed for the space of a year under the direction of a certain divinity
              student, with whom alone they were to converse during that period. The Ua
              Carra faithfully complied with the mode of life laid out for them, and when
              the year expired presented themselves before St. Finnian for his
              benediction. The saint blessed them, saying, ' You cannot restore to life
              the innocent ecclesiastics whom you have slain, but you can go and repair,
              and restore as far as is in your power, the churches and other buildings
              which you have ruined.' The sons of Ua Carra took an affectionate leave of
              St. Finnian, and as the Church of Tuam was the first which suffered from
              their plundering, they wished it to be the first that they should restore.
              They repaired it, and proceeded from place to place, making amends for the
              injury they had inflicted on the churches of Connaught. Having restored all
              the churches but one, the Ua Carra returned to St. Finnian, who inquired if
              they had finished their work. They replied, 'We have repaired all the
              churches but one.' ' Which is that?'asked Finnian. 'The Church of Ceann Mara
              (Kinvara),' they said. ' Alas !' said the saint, ' this was the first church
              you ought to have repaired the church of the holy man Coman ; return now,
              and repair every damage, you have done to that place.' The brothers obeyed
              St. Finnian's command, and restored the church. By the advice of St. Coman
              they built a canoe, and undertook a voyage on the Atlantic Ocean."

              Thus far the tale refers to St. Finnian ; the voyage and its results does
              not come within the scope of this paper.

              St. Finnian's mode of life was very austere, his usual food was bread and
              herbs ; on festival days he allowed himself a little beer or whey ; he slept
              on the bare grounds, and a stone served him for a pillow.

              In his last illness the saint was attended by his former pupil St. Colomb,
              of Tir-da-Ghlas, who administered to him the Holy Viaticum. The Four Masters
              record his death A.D. 548; but the year 550 or 551 appears to be the correct
              date. It is stated in some of our annals that Finnian died of the plague ;
              there is no doubt that the plague was in Ireland during this period, viz.,
              548 and 551. In the Chronicon Scotorum, under 551, we read : "A great
              mortality, i. e., the Chronn Conaill." St. Finnian is enumerated among its
              victims.

              This great saint is commemorated by Oenghus in the following verse :

              " A Tower of Gold over the sea,
              May he bring help to my soul,
              Is Finnian fair, the beloved root
              Of the great Cluain-Eraird."

              St. Finnian's sister, St. Regnach, was Abbess of Kilreynagh, near the
              present town of Banagher, King's County.

              Hardy, in his Descriptive Catalogue of British History, mentions four lives
              of St. Finnian: viz., Ex. MS. Salmanticensis (which is given by Colgan) ;
              MS. Life, Duke of Devonshire ; MS. Trinity College, Dublin, referred to by
              Bishop Nicholson in his Irish Historical Library ; and MS. Bodleian Library,
              which begins thus : " Fuit vir nobilia in Hiberniae partibus." (Hardy's
              Catalogue, p. 128, vol. i., part 1.)

              December 12th (the day of his death) is observed as his Feast.

              JOHN M. THUNDER.

              Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Volume 13 (1892), 810-815.



              St. Columba (Colm) of Tyrdaglas, Abbot
              --------------------------------------------------------
              Born in Leinster, Ireland; died 548; feast may also be December 13.
              Saint Columba, son of the Leinster noble named Crimthain, was a disciple
              of Saint Finnian (f.d. today) and himself became a great master of the
              spiritual life.

              Finnian often had Saint Senach (f.d. March 8) keep an eye on the younger
              seminarians at Clonard. Once Senach reported back to the holy abbot that
              he found Columba kneeling in prayer, oblivious to everything about him,
              with his arms stretched out to heaven and the birds alighting on his
              shoulders. Finnian replied, "He is the one who will offer the Holy
              Sacrifice for me at my death."

              After founding and governing the monastery of Tyrdaglas on the Shannon
              in Munster, Saint Columba died of the plague. He is generally described
              as one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland and is also the co-founder of
              Clonenagh with Saint Fintan (f.d. February 17) who became its second
              abbot, and of Iniscaltra (Holy Island in the Shannon) (Benedictines,
              D'Arcy, Healy, Husenbeth, Montague, Ryan).

              Troparion of St Columba of Leinster tone 8
              O pious Columba, as a disciple of our Father Finnian and a renowned
              struggler, thou didst shine forth in the ascetic life./ O Ireland's
              treasure, cease not to pray for those who labour, weeping and repenting,
              for the salvation of their souls.


              St. Cormac, Abbot
              --------------------------------------------------------
              6th century. The eminently holy, ancient Irish abbot, Saint Cormac, was
              friend of Saint Columba (f.d. June 9), according to Adamnan
              (Benedictines, Husenbeth).


              St. Edburga (Eadburh) of Thanet, Abbess & Virgin
              --------------------------------------------------------
              Died 751. Saint Edburga, one of the royal family of Kent, succeeded
              Saint Mildred (f.d. July 13) as abbess of Minster in Thanet. She is
              known chiefly from Saint Boniface's (f.d. June 5) letters to her, in
              which he thanks her for books, altar vestments, and other 'tokens of
              affection' she had sent him and for the 'spiritual light' conveyed in
              her letters. She had a new church built for her convent at Minster to
              which she translated the relics of Saint Mildred. Edburga is also known
              for her talent as a calligrapher. Her own relics were translated to
              Saint Gregory's Church in Canterbury in 1055 (Attwater, Attwater 2,
              Benedictines, Coulson, Husenbeth).


              St. Colman of Glendalough, Abbot
              --------------------------------------------------------
              Died 659. An abbot Colman of Glendalough is mentioned in the Irish
              calendars (Benedictines, Husenbeth).

              Troparion of St Colman of Glendalough tone 8
              Giving thy life to Christ in monastic poverty, thou didst teach us a
              God-pleasing set of values, O Father Colman./ Wherefore intercede with
              Christ our God that He will instil in us constancy of faith, patience in
              trials and freedom from worldliness that we may be found worthy of His
              great mercy.


              St. Corentin (Cury)
              --------------------------------------------------------
              Died c. 490 (though some claim him for the 6th century); a second feast
              day on May 1 is probably in honour of his translation. There may be some
              confusion between Corentinus, first bishop of Cornouaille (Quimper),
              Brittany, and the saintly founder and patron of Cury (Corentin) on
              Lizard Island of Cornwall (died 401?) whose feast is also today, and
              whose cultus spread throughout southwestern England and Wales. This
              second was a hermit at the foot of Mount Menehont in Devonshire, who
              preached with great success and is said to have died there. They may be
              two people or one; however, in 1890, a fresco was
              discovered at Breage (the mother-church of Lizard), which depicts Saint
              Corentin/Cury in a cope and mitre with the pastoral staff of a bishop.
              Beside him is a fish, from which he was reputed to have cut and eaten
              one slice each day, without any diminution in the size of the fish.

              The story that unites the two claims that Corentin was a Celtic hermit
              who retired to the forest of Plomodiern, where he lived in solitude for
              several years. After the death of Marcellus, who had subscribed to the
              first council of Tours, and the several other British bishops who
              migrated to Brittany, new pastors were needed for the British in
              Armorica who were familiar with the language and customs. Thus, Corentin
              was recruited and consecrated bishop by Saint Martin of Tours ((f.d.
              November 11), who had been dead for some time). It is said that Count
              Grallo I of Cornouaille (died c. 445) gave his palace at Quimper to
              serve as the home and cathedral of the new bishop. An ancient cross
              stands near his church. Corentin participated in the council of Angers
              in 453 and signed the canons under the name Charaton. He was said to
              have been a friend of Guennole (?).

              Corentin's relics were translated to Marmoutier at Tours in 878 to
              protect them from destruction at the hands of the Normans (Attwater 2,
              Benedictines, Coulson, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).


              St. Agatha of Wimborne, Nun
              --------------------------------------------------------
              Died c. 790. Saint Agatha, a Benedictine nun at Wimborne, crossed the
              English Channel to Germany with her mentor Saint Lioba (f.d. September
              28) in order to help Saint Boniface (f.d. June 5) in his missionary
              labours (Benedictines).


              Sources:
              ========

              Attwater, D. (1983). The Penguin Dictionary of Saints,
              2nd edition, revised and updated by Catherine Rachel John.
              New York: Penguin Books.

              Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
              (1947). The Book of Saints. NY: Macmillan.

              Coulson, J. (ed.). (1960). The Saints: A Concise Biographical
              Dictionary. New York: Hawthorn Books.

              D'Arcy, M. R. (1974). The Saints of Ireland. Saint Paul, Minnesota:
              Irish American Cultural Institute. [This is probably the most
              useful book to choose to own on the Irish saints. The author
              provides a great deal of historical context in which to place the
              lives of the saints.]

              Delaney, J. J. (1983). Pocket Dictionary of Saints.
              New York: Doubleday Image.

              Encyclopaedia of Catholic Saints, October. (1966).
              Philadelphia: Chilton Books.

              Farmer, D. H. (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Saints.
              Oxford: Oxford University Press.

              Healy, J. (1902). Ireland's Ancient Schools and Scholars.
              Dublin: Sealy, Bryers and Walker.

              Husenbeth, Rev. F. C., DD, VG (ed.). (1928). Butler's
              Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints.
              London: Virtue & Co.

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

              Ryan, J. (1931). Irish Monasticism. Dublin: Talbot Press.

              For All the Saints:
              http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/ss-index.htm

              An Alphabetical Index of the Saints of the West
              http://www.orthodoxengland.btinternet.co.uk/saintsa.htm

              These Lives are archived at:
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints
              ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤
            • ambrois@xtra.co.nz
              Celtic and Old English Saints 12 December =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Finnian of Clonard * St. Columba of Tyrdaglas * St.
              Message 6 of 14 , Dec 11, 2012
                Celtic and Old English Saints 12 December

                =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                * St. Finnian of Clonard
                * St. Columba of Tyrdaglas
                * St. Cormac
                * St. Edburga of Thanet
                * St. Colman of Glendalough
                * St. Corentin
                * St. Agatha of Wimborne
                =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


                St. Finnian of Clonard, Bishop
                (Finian, Finden, Vennianus, Vinnianus)
                --------------------------------------------------------
                Born in Leinster, Ireland, c. 470; died at Clonard (Cluain-Irard) Abbey
                in Meath, Ireland, December 12, c. 552 (but the date ranges from
                549-564).

                Saint Finnian was an Irish monk who followed in the path of Saint
                Patrick, whose disciples, including Saint Fortchern (f.d. February 17),
                instructed him in the essentials of Christian virtue, and himself
                initiated a strict form of Irish monasticism. Along with Saint Enda of
                Aran (f.d. March 21), he is regarded as the founder of Irish
                monasticism. He had close relations with the British Church.

                He is said to have been born into a noble family at Myshall, County
                Carlow, Ireland. He probably also received his education in that
                district, where he also made his first three foundations at Rossacurra,
                Drumfea, and Kilmaglush. Thereafter, he spent several years in Wales,
                where he was trained in monasticism by Saints Cadoc of Llancarfan (f.d.
                September 25), David of Menevia (f.d. March 1), and Gildas (f.d. January
                29). He lived on bread, herbs, and water, and on the bare ground with a
                stone for his pillow. About 520, Finnian returned to Ireland, armed with
                the sanctity and sacred learning to reinvigorate the faith of his
                countrymen.

                To further God's work, he founded churches and several monasteries,
                including Aghowle (County Wicklow) and Mugna Sulcain. His most notable
                foundation was Clonard on the Boyne in Meath, which was the greatest
                school of the period, renowned for several centuries for its biblical
                studies (Finnian was a great Biblical scholar). During his abbacy, he is
                said to have gathered 3,000 disciples at Clonard. As each left the
                monastery to preach, he took with him a Book of the Gospels, a crozier,
                and a reliquary around which he would built a church or monastery.

                The rule of Clonard is believed to be based on the Rule of Lerins.
                Finnian corresponded with Saint Gildas on matters of monastic
                discipline, who had deplored the intrusion of wealth and power into the
                episcopal office in Britain. Perhaps this was an influence in
                development of a monastic rather than episcopal government within the
                Irish Church.

                He is often called the "Teacher of Irish Saints." At one time his pupils
                at Clonard included the so-called Twelve Apostles of Ireland:

                Brendan of Birr (f.d. November 29)
                Brendan the Voyager (f.d. May 16)
                Cainnech (f.d. October 11)
                Ciaran of Clommacnois (f.d. September 9)
                Columba of Iona (f.d. June 9)
                Columba of Terryglass (f.d. today)
                Comgall of Bangor (f.d. May 11)
                Finian of Moville (f.d. September 10)
                Kieran of Saigher (f.d. March 5)
                Mobhi (f.d. October 12)
                Molaise (Laserian) of Devendish (f.d. August 12)
                Ninidh of Inismacsaint (f.d. January 18)
                Ruadhan of Lothra (f.d. April 15)
                Sinell of Cleenish (f.d.October 12).

                (You might note that this is more than 12; this is a very elastic twelve
                with different saints added at different times)

                He died at Clonard of the yellow plague, which swept the country.
                According to his biographer: "As Paul died in Rome for the sake of the
                Christian people lest they should all perish in hell, so Finnian died at
                Clonard for the sake of the people of the Gael, that they might not all
                perish of the yellow pest." His relics were enshrined at Clonard until
                they were destroyed in 887.

                His monastery at Clonard survived the Viking raids, Norman aggressions,
                and native strife, but not the Reformation, at which time it was
                suppressed. At one point Clonard was converted into a house of
                Augustinian canons, from whom there survives an office of Saint Finnian
                with some elements taken from an otherwise unknown source. The
                Protestant church of Clonard now houses an 11th-century, grey marble
                baptismal font with figures from the Scriptures sculpted on its eight
                panels as well as a stone head from the former abbey. All other traces
                of Finnian's tomb, church, and abbey have been eradicated.

                The contemporary collection of regulations for penitents, ascribed to
                Vinnianus, was probably not the work of this Finnian but perhaps by
                Finnian of Moville (f.d. September 10; d. c. 579). This oldest surviving
                penitentiary is based on Welsh and Irish sources, as well as on those of
                Saints Jerome (f.d. September 30) and John Cassian (f.d. July 23), and
                influenced a similar work by Saint Columbanus (f.d. November 23). The
                feast of Saint Finnian is observed throughout Ireland (Attwater,
                Attwater 2, Benedictines, Coulson, D'Arcy, Delaney, Encyclopaedia,
                Farmer, Healy, Husenbeth, Montague, Ryan).

                Troparion of St Finnian of Clonard tone 8
                Truly thou art the 'Tutor of the Saints of Ireland', O Founder of
                Clonard, great Father Finnian./ As thou didst tirelessly teach the faith
                in thy native land,/ so teach us to follow thy example that many may
                come to know Christ and be led into the Way of Salvation.

                More information:

                December 12 on the Church Calendar, sees the commemoration of one of our
                most important Irish fathers of monasticism - Finnian of Clonard 'tutor of
                the saints of Ireland'. Below is a paper on the life of Saint Finnian from
                the Irish Ecclesiastical Record which records what is traditionally known of
                him. Modern scholars are engaged in a debate as to whether Finnian of
                Clonard, Uinnau the Briton, Finnian of Moville, Finbarr of Cork and Ninnian
                of Candida Casa are all one and the same person. In the nineteenth century,
                however, when this paper was written, all of these saints were viewed as
                distinct individuals, and the writer brings together some of the stories
                told of Saint Finnian as founder of Clonard and of the many saints who
                flourished under his tutelage. Saint Finnian is also the patron of the
                Russian Orthodox parish in Belfast, so we wish the joy of our patronal
                festival. Holy Father Finnian, pray to God for us!

                ST. FINNIAN OF CLONARD.

                SAINT FINNIAN of Clonard, " Tutor of the Saints of Ireland," lived in the
                sixth century. He was a native of Leinster ; his birthplace is generally
                supposed to have been near the present town of New Ross. Saint Finnian was
                of the race of Ir, and belonged to the Clan na Rudhraidhe. His name appears
                to be a diminutive of Finn, "white." He was a contemporary of Finnian of
                Moville, whose name comes next in the list of saints of the second class.

                Saint Abban baptized Finnian, and at an early age he was placed under the
                care of Bishop Fortchern of Trim. With him he remained thirty years. At the
                end of that period Finnian proceeded to Britain, and settled at Kilmuine or
                Menevia, where he placed himself under David, Gildas, and Cadoc. David was
                grandson of an Irish prince, Bracan. He taught St. Aidan of Ferns, was first
                Bishop of Menevia, and died A.D. 589. Gildas was the author of De Excidio
                Britannia, according to the Annals of Ulster. He died A.D 570. Cadoc is
                represented as cousin to St. David, and was a pupil of St. Thaddeus, an
                Irishman. Saint Finnian is said to have founded three churches in Britain,
                but they have not been identified. While a monk at the monastery of St.
                David, Finnian on one occasion was asked to supply the place of oeconomus,
                or house steward, in the absence of the monk who generally filled that
                office. Finnian replied that he would be unable to do so, as he was
                unprovided with the necessary requirements for carrying wood and provisions.
                His superior having insisted on his undertaking the task, Finnian obeyed,
                and we read in his life that an angel came to his assistance. What before
                had seemed an impossibility he was able to accomplish by the aid of this
                heavenly messenger.

                How long Finnian remained at St. David's monastery is uncertain. Lanigan
                thinks he returned to Ireland about A.D. 520. Before leaving Britain Finnian
                determined to undertake a journey to Rome, but an angel warned him not to do
                so, but to return to his own country " Redite ad vestras plebes, Deus enim
                acceptat intentionem Vestram." Finnian was accompanied to Ireland by several
                friends, among whom special mention is made of Biteus and Genoc. On his
                passage to Ireland, says Dr. Lanigan, he stopped a while with his friend
                Caimin, and landed at the port Kille-Caireni, in Wexford.

                Finnian sent messengers to Muiredeach, sovereign of Ky-Kinsellagh, asking
                permission to enter his territory. The king generously acceded to his
                request, and came himself to see Finnian, in whose presence Muiredeach
                prostrated himself on the ground, and promised the saint a site for a
                monastery. Saint Finnian erected an establishment at Achadh Abhla ; i.e.,
                "Field of the Apple-Tree," which now bears the name Aghowle, or Aghold, in
                the barony of Shillelagh, County Wicklow. It was anciently called Crosalech.
                Here St. Finnian resided for sixteen years. At Mughna, County Carlow, he
                erected another monastery, and is said to have lectured there for seven
                years on the Sacred Scriptures. It is probably while there that he preached
                on one occasion in presence of St. Brigid.

                We now approach the most important event in St. Finnian's life in his
                settlement at Clonard, County Meath, which during his lifetime became the
                most celebrated sanctuary in Ireland for piety and learning. Cluain-Eraird
                i. e., Erard's Lawn or Meadow is the derivation given by O'Donovan. Erard
                was a man's name, very common in Ireland, signifying lofty or noble. Again,
                we find it related in the saint's life that an angel appeared to him
                directing him as to where he should take up his abode. Saint Finnian entered
                Clonard repeating the psalm " Haec requies mea in Saeculum Saeculi hic
                habitabo quoniam elegi eam."

                The date of the saint's arrival at Clonard is said to be about A.D. 530. It
                is a matter of doubt whether St. Finnian was a bishop. The Four Masters
                simply term him abbot. Such is the title accorded to him in the Martyrology
                of Donegal and other Irish calendars. Dr. Lanigan seems to think that St.
                Finnian was only abbot. It is, doubtless, a fact that Clonard was an
                episcopal see, but it is quite possible that it did not become so till after
                Finnian's time. His successor at Clonard, St. Seanach, is called bishop by
                the Four Masters. The school of Clonard in a short time became famous in
                Ireland. Those great men who were afterward called the Twelve Apostles of
                Ireland came to seek instruction from Finnian viz., Columba, the two
                Brendans, Ciaran of Saigher, his namesake of Clonmacnoise, Columb of
                Tir-da-ghlas, Mobhi Claraineach, Molaish, Canice, and Ruadhan of Lothra.
                Three thousand scholars are said to have been educated at Clonard during the
                saint's lifetime, and the holy founder was justly termed "Magister Sanctorum
                Hiberniae sui temporis." In the Life of St. Ciaran of Clonmacnoise we read :
                " In schola sapientissimi magistri Finniani plures Sancti Hibernise erant ;"
                and in that of St. Columb of Tir-da-ghlas : "Audiens famam S. Finniani
                Episcopi de Cluain-Eraird, ut Sacram Scripturam addisceret accessit ;" and,
                lastly, we find it said of St. Ruadhan :"Legens diversas Scripturas et
                multum proficiens in eis." Colgan enumerates thirty two saints who received
                instruction from St. Finnian, and bears testimony of the fame of Clonard,
                where students assembled from various parts of Europe.

                Saint Finnian did not permit his multifarious labours in behalf of learning
                to interfere with his duties towards the needy and afflicted. We read in his
                life that he was a father to all who sought help from him: " Flebat cum
                flentibus." "Infirmabatur enim cum infirmis." On a certain occasion a bard
                named German presented St. Finnian with a beautiful poem, in which many of
                his virtues were extolled; the bard demanded from the saint not gold or
                silver, or any worldly substance, but only fertility of produce in his
                lands. Finnian answered him, and said : "Sing over water the hymn which thou
                hast composed, and sprinkle the land with that water." The bard did as he
                was directed, and his land produced abundant fruit.

                In the historical tale "The Expedition of the Sons of Carra," published by
                O' Curry in his MS. Materials of Ancient Irish History, we have a
                description of St. Finnian's interviews with the three brothers, who had
                plundered the churches of Connaught. O 'Curry observes that while these
                tales often contain matter without resemblance to facts, we are not to
                reject them wholly on that account, but rather make allowance for poetic
                embellishment, at the same time having good ground for believing that a
                foundation of truth exists. The story is as follows : -

                " Three brothers actuated by an evil spirit plundered the churches of
                Connaught. In their wicked enterprise they were joined by a band of
                adventurers as daring as themselves. They commenced by pillaging the Church
                of Tuam, and never ceased till they had laid waste more than half the
                churches of the province. When the three brothers arrived at the Church of
                Clothar, they determined to kill the old man, who was the Airchennech of
                that place ; he was their grandfather; but he, though suspecting their evil
                design, treated them with kindness, and assigned to them a comfortable
                resting-place. Lochan, the eldest of the three brothers, that night had a
                vision, which alarmed him so much that he became conscience-stricken. He saw
                represented before him the eternal joys of heaven and the torments of hell.
                When morning came he acquainted his brothers of what he saw, and like him
                they felt remorse for their wicked deeds. The brothers Carra sought the
                pardon and prayers of their grandfather. They took counsel with the old man
                as to what course they should pursue in order to obtain God's forgiveness
                and to make reparation for the past. He told them to repair to St. Finnian,
                the great teacher, and to submit themselves to his spiritual direction. The
                Ua Carra immediately put off their warlike attire, and donned the garb of
                pilgrims, and with staves instead of swords hastened to Clonard. At their
                approach the inhabitants fled, for the fame of their evil deeds had spread
                far and wide. St. Finnian alone came out to meet them ; the brothers threw
                themselves on their knees, and besought his friendship and pardon. ' What do
                you want, said Finnian.' ' We want,' said they, ' to take upon us the habit
                of religion and penitence, and henceforward to serve God.' ' Your
                determination is a good one,' said Finnian, ' let us come into the town,
                where my people are.' They entered the town, and Finnian took counsel with
                his people respecting the penitents. It was decided that they should be
                placed for the space of a year under the direction of a certain divinity
                student, with whom alone they were to converse during that period. The Ua
                Carra faithfully complied with the mode of life laid out for them, and when
                the year expired presented themselves before St. Finnian for his
                benediction. The saint blessed them, saying, ' You cannot restore to life
                the innocent ecclesiastics whom you have slain, but you can go and repair,
                and restore as far as is in your power, the churches and other buildings
                which you have ruined.' The sons of Ua Carra took an affectionate leave of
                St. Finnian, and as the Church of Tuam was the first which suffered from
                their plundering, they wished it to be the first that they should restore.
                They repaired it, and proceeded from place to place, making amends for the
                injury they had inflicted on the churches of Connaught. Having restored all
                the churches but one, the Ua Carra returned to St. Finnian, who inquired if
                they had finished their work. They replied, 'We have repaired all the
                churches but one.' ' Which is that?'asked Finnian. 'The Church of Ceann Mara
                (Kinvara),' they said. ' Alas !' said the saint, ' this was the first church
                you ought to have repaired the church of the holy man Coman ; return now,
                and repair every damage, you have done to that place.' The brothers obeyed
                St. Finnian's command, and restored the church. By the advice of St. Coman
                they built a canoe, and undertook a voyage on the Atlantic Ocean."

                Thus far the tale refers to St. Finnian ; the voyage and its results does
                not come within the scope of this paper.

                St. Finnian's mode of life was very austere, his usual food was bread and
                herbs ; on festival days he allowed himself a little beer or whey ; he slept
                on the bare grounds, and a stone served him for a pillow.

                In his last illness the saint was attended by his former pupil St. Colomb,
                of Tir-da-Ghlas, who administered to him the Holy Viaticum. The Four Masters
                record his death A.D. 548; but the year 550 or 551 appears to be the correct
                date. It is stated in some of our annals that Finnian died of the plague ;
                there is no doubt that the plague was in Ireland during this period, viz.,
                548 and 551. In the Chronicon Scotorum, under 551, we read : "A great
                mortality, i. e., the Chronn Conaill." St. Finnian is enumerated among its
                victims.

                This great saint is commemorated by Oenghus in the following verse :

                " A Tower of Gold over the sea,
                May he bring help to my soul,
                Is Finnian fair, the beloved root
                Of the great Cluain-Eraird."

                St. Finnian's sister, St. Regnach, was Abbess of Kilreynagh, near the
                present town of Banagher, King's County.

                Hardy, in his Descriptive Catalogue of British History, mentions four lives
                of St. Finnian: viz., Ex. MS. Salmanticensis (which is given by Colgan) ;
                MS. Life, Duke of Devonshire ; MS. Trinity College, Dublin, referred to by
                Bishop Nicholson in his Irish Historical Library ; and MS. Bodleian Library,
                which begins thus : " Fuit vir nobilia in Hiberniae partibus." (Hardy's
                Catalogue, p. 128, vol. i., part 1.)

                December 12th (the day of his death) is observed as his Feast.

                JOHN M. THUNDER.

                Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Volume 13 (1892), 810-815.



                St. Columba (Colm) of Tyrdaglas, Abbot
                --------------------------------------------------------
                Born in Leinster, Ireland; died 548; feast may also be December 13.
                Saint Columba, son of the Leinster noble named Crimthain, was a disciple
                of Saint Finnian (f.d. today) and himself became a great master of the
                spiritual life.

                Finnian often had Saint Senach (f.d. March 8) keep an eye on the younger
                seminarians at Clonard. Once Senach reported back to the holy abbot that
                he found Columba kneeling in prayer, oblivious to everything about him,
                with his arms stretched out to heaven and the birds alighting on his
                shoulders. Finnian replied, "He is the one who will offer the Holy
                Sacrifice for me at my death."

                After founding and governing the monastery of Tyrdaglas on the Shannon
                in Munster, Saint Columba died of the plague. He is generally described
                as one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland and is also the co-founder of
                Clonenagh with Saint Fintan (f.d. February 17) who became its second
                abbot, and of Iniscaltra (Holy Island in the Shannon) (Benedictines,
                D'Arcy, Healy, Husenbeth, Montague, Ryan).

                Troparion of St Columba of Leinster tone 8
                O pious Columba, as a disciple of our Father Finnian and a renowned
                struggler, thou didst shine forth in the ascetic life./ O Ireland's
                treasure, cease not to pray for those who labour, weeping and repenting,
                for the salvation of their souls.


                St. Cormac, Abbot
                --------------------------------------------------------
                6th century. The eminently holy, ancient Irish abbot, Saint Cormac, was
                friend of Saint Columba (f.d. June 9), according to Adamnan
                (Benedictines, Husenbeth).


                St. Edburga (Eadburh) of Thanet, Abbess & Virgin
                --------------------------------------------------------
                Died 751. Saint Edburga, one of the royal family of Kent, succeeded
                Saint Mildred (f.d. July 13) as abbess of Minster in Thanet. She is
                known chiefly from Saint Boniface's (f.d. June 5) letters to her, in
                which he thanks her for books, altar vestments, and other 'tokens of
                affection' she had sent him and for the 'spiritual light' conveyed in
                her letters. She had a new church built for her convent at Minster to
                which she translated the relics of Saint Mildred. Edburga is also known
                for her talent as a calligrapher. Her own relics were translated to
                Saint Gregory's Church in Canterbury in 1055 (Attwater, Attwater 2,
                Benedictines, Coulson, Husenbeth).


                St. Colman of Glendalough, Abbot
                --------------------------------------------------------
                Died 659. An abbot Colman of Glendalough is mentioned in the Irish
                calendars (Benedictines, Husenbeth).

                Troparion of St Colman of Glendalough tone 8
                Giving thy life to Christ in monastic poverty, thou didst teach us a
                God-pleasing set of values, O Father Colman./ Wherefore intercede with
                Christ our God that He will instil in us constancy of faith, patience in
                trials and freedom from worldliness that we may be found worthy of His
                great mercy.


                St. Corentin (Cury)
                --------------------------------------------------------
                Died c. 490 (though some claim him for the 6th century); a second feast
                day on May 1 is probably in honour of his translation. There may be some
                confusion between Corentinus, first bishop of Cornouaille (Quimper),
                Brittany, and the saintly founder and patron of Cury (Corentin) on
                Lizard Island of Cornwall (died 401?) whose feast is also today, and
                whose cultus spread throughout southwestern England and Wales. This
                second was a hermit at the foot of Mount Menehont in Devonshire, who
                preached with great success and is said to have died there. They may be
                two people or one; however, in 1890, a fresco was
                discovered at Breage (the mother-church of Lizard), which depicts Saint
                Corentin/Cury in a cope and mitre with the pastoral staff of a bishop.
                Beside him is a fish, from which he was reputed to have cut and eaten
                one slice each day, without any diminution in the size of the fish.

                The story that unites the two claims that Corentin was a Celtic hermit
                who retired to the forest of Plomodiern, where he lived in solitude for
                several years. After the death of Marcellus, who had subscribed to the
                first council of Tours, and the several other British bishops who
                migrated to Brittany, new pastors were needed for the British in
                Armorica who were familiar with the language and customs. Thus, Corentin
                was recruited and consecrated bishop by Saint Martin of Tours ((f.d.
                November 11), who had been dead for some time). It is said that Count
                Grallo I of Cornouaille (died c. 445) gave his palace at Quimper to
                serve as the home and cathedral of the new bishop. An ancient cross
                stands near his church. Corentin participated in the council of Angers
                in 453 and signed the canons under the name Charaton. He was said to
                have been a friend of Guennole (?).

                Corentin's relics were translated to Marmoutier at Tours in 878 to
                protect them from destruction at the hands of the Normans (Attwater 2,
                Benedictines, Coulson, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).


                St. Agatha of Wimborne, Nun
                --------------------------------------------------------
                Died c. 790. Saint Agatha, a Benedictine nun at Wimborne, crossed the
                English Channel to Germany with her mentor Saint Lioba (f.d. September
                28) in order to help Saint Boniface (f.d. June 5) in his missionary
                labours (Benedictines).


                Sources:
                ========

                Attwater, D. (1983). The Penguin Dictionary of Saints,
                2nd edition, revised and updated by Catherine Rachel John.
                New York: Penguin Books.

                Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
                (1947). The Book of Saints. NY: Macmillan.

                Coulson, J. (ed.). (1960). The Saints: A Concise Biographical
                Dictionary. New York: Hawthorn Books.

                D'Arcy, M. R. (1974). The Saints of Ireland. Saint Paul, Minnesota:
                Irish American Cultural Institute. [This is probably the most
                useful book to choose to own on the Irish saints. The author
                provides a great deal of historical context in which to place the
                lives of the saints.]

                Delaney, J. J. (1983). Pocket Dictionary of Saints.
                New York: Doubleday Image.

                Encyclopaedia of Catholic Saints, October. (1966).
                Philadelphia: Chilton Books.

                Farmer, D. H. (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Saints.
                Oxford: Oxford University Press.

                Healy, J. (1902). Ireland's Ancient Schools and Scholars.
                Dublin: Sealy, Bryers and Walker.

                Husenbeth, Rev. F. C., DD, VG (ed.). (1928). Butler's
                Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints.
                London: Virtue & Co.

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

                Ryan, J. (1931). Irish Monasticism. Dublin: Talbot Press.

                For All the Saints:
                http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/ss-index.htm

                An Alphabetical Index of the Saints of the West
                http://www.orthodoxengland.btinternet.co.uk/saintsa.htm

                These Lives are archived at:
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints
                ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤
              • ambrois@xtra.co.nz
                Celtic and Old English Saints 12 December =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Finnian of Clonard * St. Columba of Tyrdaglas * St.
                Message 7 of 14 , Dec 13, 2013
                  Celtic and Old English Saints 12 December

                  =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                  * St. Finnian of Clonard
                  * St. Columba of Tyrdaglas
                  * St. Cormac
                  * St. Edburga of Thanet
                  * St. Colman of Glendalough
                  * St. Corentin
                  * St. Agatha of Wimborne
                  =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


                  St. Finnian of Clonard, Bishop
                  (Finian, Finden, Vennianus, Vinnianus)
                  --------------------------------------------------------
                  Born in Leinster, Ireland, c. 470; died at Clonard (Cluain-Irard) Abbey
                  in Meath, Ireland, December 12, c. 552 (but the date ranges from
                  549-564).

                  Saint Finnian was an Irish monk who followed in the path of Saint
                  Patrick, whose disciples, including Saint Fortchern (f.d. February 17),
                  instructed him in the essentials of Christian virtue, and himself
                  initiated a strict form of Irish monasticism. Along with Saint Enda of
                  Aran (f.d. March 21), he is regarded as the founder of Irish
                  monasticism. He had close relations with the British Church.

                  He is said to have been born into a noble family at Myshall, County
                  Carlow, Ireland. He probably also received his education in that
                  district, where he also made his first three foundations at Rossacurra,
                  Drumfea, and Kilmaglush. Thereafter, he spent several years in Wales,
                  where he was trained in monasticism by Saints Cadoc of Llancarfan (f.d.
                  September 25), David of Menevia (f.d. March 1), and Gildas (f.d. January
                  29). He lived on bread, herbs, and water, and on the bare ground with a
                  stone for his pillow. About 520, Finnian returned to Ireland, armed with
                  the sanctity and sacred learning to reinvigorate the faith of his
                  countrymen.

                  To further God's work, he founded churches and several monasteries,
                  including Aghowle (County Wicklow) and Mugna Sulcain. His most notable
                  foundation was Clonard on the Boyne in Meath, which was the greatest
                  school of the period, renowned for several centuries for its biblical
                  studies (Finnian was a great Biblical scholar). During his abbacy, he is
                  said to have gathered 3,000 disciples at Clonard. As each left the
                  monastery to preach, he took with him a Book of the Gospels, a crozier,
                  and a reliquary around which he would built a church or monastery.

                  The rule of Clonard is believed to be based on the Rule of Lerins.
                  Finnian corresponded with Saint Gildas on matters of monastic
                  discipline, who had deplored the intrusion of wealth and power into the
                  episcopal office in Britain. Perhaps this was an influence in
                  development of a monastic rather than episcopal government within the
                  Irish Church.

                  He is often called the "Teacher of Irish Saints." At one time his pupils
                  at Clonard included the so-called Twelve Apostles of Ireland:

                  Brendan of Birr (f.d. November 29)
                  Brendan the Voyager (f.d. May 16)
                  Cainnech (f.d. October 11)
                  Ciaran of Clommacnois (f.d. September 9)
                  Columba of Iona (f.d. June 9)
                  Columba of Terryglass (f.d. today)
                  Comgall of Bangor (f.d. May 11)
                  Finian of Moville (f.d. September 10)
                  Kieran of Saigher (f.d. March 5)
                  Mobhi (f.d. October 12)
                  Molaise (Laserian) of Devendish (f.d. August 12)
                  Ninidh of Inismacsaint (f.d. January 18)
                  Ruadhan of Lothra (f.d. April 15)
                  Sinell of Cleenish (f.d.October 12).

                  (You might note that this is more than 12; this is a very elastic twelve
                  with different saints added at different times)

                  He died at Clonard of the yellow plague, which swept the country.
                  According to his biographer: "As Paul died in Rome for the sake of the
                  Christian people lest they should all perish in hell, so Finnian died at
                  Clonard for the sake of the people of the Gael, that they might not all
                  perish of the yellow pest." His relics were enshrined at Clonard until
                  they were destroyed in 887.

                  His monastery at Clonard survived the Viking raids, Norman aggressions,
                  and native strife, but not the Reformation, at which time it was
                  suppressed. At one point Clonard was converted into a house of
                  Augustinian canons, from whom there survives an office of Saint Finnian
                  with some elements taken from an otherwise unknown source. The
                  Protestant church of Clonard now houses an 11th-century, grey marble
                  baptismal font with figures from the Scriptures sculpted on its eight
                  panels as well as a stone head from the former abbey. All other traces
                  of Finnian's tomb, church, and abbey have been eradicated.

                  The contemporary collection of regulations for penitents, ascribed to
                  Vinnianus, was probably not the work of this Finnian but perhaps by
                  Finnian of Moville (f.d. September 10; d. c. 579). This oldest surviving
                  penitentiary is based on Welsh and Irish sources, as well as on those of
                  Saints Jerome (f.d. September 30) and John Cassian (f.d. July 23), and
                  influenced a similar work by Saint Columbanus (f.d. November 23). The
                  feast of Saint Finnian is observed throughout Ireland (Attwater,
                  Attwater 2, Benedictines, Coulson, D'Arcy, Delaney, Encyclopaedia,
                  Farmer, Healy, Husenbeth, Montague, Ryan).

                  Troparion of St Finnian of Clonard tone 8
                  Truly thou art the 'Tutor of the Saints of Ireland', O Founder of
                  Clonard, great Father Finnian./ As thou didst tirelessly teach the faith
                  in thy native land,/ so teach us to follow thy example that many may
                  come to know Christ and be led into the Way of Salvation.

                  More information:

                  December 12 on the Church Calendar, sees the commemoration of one of our
                  most important Irish fathers of monasticism - Finnian of Clonard 'tutor of
                  the saints of Ireland'. Below is a paper on the life of Saint Finnian from
                  the Irish Ecclesiastical Record which records what is traditionally known of
                  him. Modern scholars are engaged in a debate as to whether Finnian of
                  Clonard, Uinnau the Briton, Finnian of Moville, Finbarr of Cork and Ninnian
                  of Candida Casa are all one and the same person. In the nineteenth century,
                  however, when this paper was written, all of these saints were viewed as
                  distinct individuals, and the writer brings together some of the stories
                  told of Saint Finnian as founder of Clonard and of the many saints who
                  flourished under his tutelage. Saint Finnian is also the patron of the
                  Russian Orthodox parish in Belfast, so we wish the joy of our patronal
                  festival. Holy Father Finnian, pray to God for us!

                  ST. FINNIAN OF CLONARD.

                  SAINT FINNIAN of Clonard, " Tutor of the Saints of Ireland," lived in the
                  sixth century. He was a native of Leinster ; his birthplace is generally
                  supposed to have been near the present town of New Ross. Saint Finnian was
                  of the race of Ir, and belonged to the Clan na Rudhraidhe. His name appears
                  to be a diminutive of Finn, "white." He was a contemporary of Finnian of
                  Moville, whose name comes next in the list of saints of the second class.

                  Saint Abban baptized Finnian, and at an early age he was placed under the
                  care of Bishop Fortchern of Trim. With him he remained thirty years. At the
                  end of that period Finnian proceeded to Britain, and settled at Kilmuine or
                  Menevia, where he placed himself under David, Gildas, and Cadoc. David was
                  grandson of an Irish prince, Bracan. He taught St. Aidan of Ferns, was first
                  Bishop of Menevia, and died A.D. 589. Gildas was the author of De Excidio
                  Britannia, according to the Annals of Ulster. He died A.D 570. Cadoc is
                  represented as cousin to St. David, and was a pupil of St. Thaddeus, an
                  Irishman. Saint Finnian is said to have founded three churches in Britain,
                  but they have not been identified. While a monk at the monastery of St.
                  David, Finnian on one occasion was asked to supply the place of oeconomus,
                  or house steward, in the absence of the monk who generally filled that
                  office. Finnian replied that he would be unable to do so, as he was
                  unprovided with the necessary requirements for carrying wood and provisions.
                  His superior having insisted on his undertaking the task, Finnian obeyed,
                  and we read in his life that an angel came to his assistance. What before
                  had seemed an impossibility he was able to accomplish by the aid of this
                  heavenly messenger.

                  How long Finnian remained at St. David's monastery is uncertain. Lanigan
                  thinks he returned to Ireland about A.D. 520. Before leaving Britain Finnian
                  determined to undertake a journey to Rome, but an angel warned him not to do
                  so, but to return to his own country " Redite ad vestras plebes, Deus enim
                  acceptat intentionem Vestram." Finnian was accompanied to Ireland by several
                  friends, among whom special mention is made of Biteus and Genoc. On his
                  passage to Ireland, says Dr. Lanigan, he stopped a while with his friend
                  Caimin, and landed at the port Kille-Caireni, in Wexford.

                  Finnian sent messengers to Muiredeach, sovereign of Ky-Kinsellagh, asking
                  permission to enter his territory. The king generously acceded to his
                  request, and came himself to see Finnian, in whose presence Muiredeach
                  prostrated himself on the ground, and promised the saint a site for a
                  monastery. Saint Finnian erected an establishment at Achadh Abhla ; i.e.,
                  "Field of the Apple-Tree," which now bears the name Aghowle, or Aghold, in
                  the barony of Shillelagh, County Wicklow. It was anciently called Crosalech.
                  Here St. Finnian resided for sixteen years. At Mughna, County Carlow, he
                  erected another monastery, and is said to have lectured there for seven
                  years on the Sacred Scriptures. It is probably while there that he preached
                  on one occasion in presence of St. Brigid.

                  We now approach the most important event in St. Finnian's life in his
                  settlement at Clonard, County Meath, which during his lifetime became the
                  most celebrated sanctuary in Ireland for piety and learning. Cluain-Eraird
                  i. e., Erard's Lawn or Meadow is the derivation given by O'Donovan. Erard
                  was a man's name, very common in Ireland, signifying lofty or noble. Again,
                  we find it related in the saint's life that an angel appeared to him
                  directing him as to where he should take up his abode. Saint Finnian entered
                  Clonard repeating the psalm " Haec requies mea in Saeculum Saeculi hic
                  habitabo quoniam elegi eam."

                  The date of the saint's arrival at Clonard is said to be about A.D. 530. It
                  is a matter of doubt whether St. Finnian was a bishop. The Four Masters
                  simply term him abbot. Such is the title accorded to him in the Martyrology
                  of Donegal and other Irish calendars. Dr. Lanigan seems to think that St.
                  Finnian was only abbot. It is, doubtless, a fact that Clonard was an
                  episcopal see, but it is quite possible that it did not become so till after
                  Finnian's time. His successor at Clonard, St. Seanach, is called bishop by
                  the Four Masters. The school of Clonard in a short time became famous in
                  Ireland. Those great men who were afterward called the Twelve Apostles of
                  Ireland came to seek instruction from Finnian viz., Columba, the two
                  Brendans, Ciaran of Saigher, his namesake of Clonmacnoise, Columb of
                  Tir-da-ghlas, Mobhi Claraineach, Molaish, Canice, and Ruadhan of Lothra.
                  Three thousand scholars are said to have been educated at Clonard during the
                  saint's lifetime, and the holy founder was justly termed "Magister Sanctorum
                  Hiberniae sui temporis." In the Life of St. Ciaran of Clonmacnoise we read :
                  " In schola sapientissimi magistri Finniani plures Sancti Hibernise erant ;"
                  and in that of St. Columb of Tir-da-ghlas : "Audiens famam S. Finniani
                  Episcopi de Cluain-Eraird, ut Sacram Scripturam addisceret accessit ;" and,
                  lastly, we find it said of St. Ruadhan :"Legens diversas Scripturas et
                  multum proficiens in eis." Colgan enumerates thirty two saints who received
                  instruction from St. Finnian, and bears testimony of the fame of Clonard,
                  where students assembled from various parts of Europe.

                  Saint Finnian did not permit his multifarious labours in behalf of learning
                  to interfere with his duties towards the needy and afflicted. We read in his
                  life that he was a father to all who sought help from him: " Flebat cum
                  flentibus." "Infirmabatur enim cum infirmis." On a certain occasion a bard
                  named German presented St. Finnian with a beautiful poem, in which many of
                  his virtues were extolled; the bard demanded from the saint not gold or
                  silver, or any worldly substance, but only fertility of produce in his
                  lands. Finnian answered him, and said : "Sing over water the hymn which thou
                  hast composed, and sprinkle the land with that water." The bard did as he
                  was directed, and his land produced abundant fruit.

                  In the historical tale "The Expedition of the Sons of Carra," published by
                  O' Curry in his MS. Materials of Ancient Irish History, we have a
                  description of St. Finnian's interviews with the three brothers, who had
                  plundered the churches of Connaught. O 'Curry observes that while these
                  tales often contain matter without resemblance to facts, we are not to
                  reject them wholly on that account, but rather make allowance for poetic
                  embellishment, at the same time having good ground for believing that a
                  foundation of truth exists. The story is as follows : -

                  " Three brothers actuated by an evil spirit plundered the churches of
                  Connaught. In their wicked enterprise they were joined by a band of
                  adventurers as daring as themselves. They commenced by pillaging the Church
                  of Tuam, and never ceased till they had laid waste more than half the
                  churches of the province. When the three brothers arrived at the Church of
                  Clothar, they determined to kill the old man, who was the Airchennech of
                  that place ; he was their grandfather; but he, though suspecting their evil
                  design, treated them with kindness, and assigned to them a comfortable
                  resting-place. Lochan, the eldest of the three brothers, that night had a
                  vision, which alarmed him so much that he became conscience-stricken. He saw
                  represented before him the eternal joys of heaven and the torments of hell.
                  When morning came he acquainted his brothers of what he saw, and like him
                  they felt remorse for their wicked deeds. The brothers Carra sought the
                  pardon and prayers of their grandfather. They took counsel with the old man
                  as to what course they should pursue in order to obtain God's forgiveness
                  and to make reparation for the past. He told them to repair to St. Finnian,
                  the great teacher, and to submit themselves to his spiritual direction. The
                  Ua Carra immediately put off their warlike attire, and donned the garb of
                  pilgrims, and with staves instead of swords hastened to Clonard. At their
                  approach the inhabitants fled, for the fame of their evil deeds had spread
                  far and wide. St. Finnian alone came out to meet them ; the brothers threw
                  themselves on their knees, and besought his friendship and pardon. ' What do
                  you want, said Finnian.' ' We want,' said they, ' to take upon us the habit
                  of religion and penitence, and henceforward to serve God.' ' Your
                  determination is a good one,' said Finnian, ' let us come into the town,
                  where my people are.' They entered the town, and Finnian took counsel with
                  his people respecting the penitents. It was decided that they should be
                  placed for the space of a year under the direction of a certain divinity
                  student, with whom alone they were to converse during that period. The Ua
                  Carra faithfully complied with the mode of life laid out for them, and when
                  the year expired presented themselves before St. Finnian for his
                  benediction. The saint blessed them, saying, ' You cannot restore to life
                  the innocent ecclesiastics whom you have slain, but you can go and repair,
                  and restore as far as is in your power, the churches and other buildings
                  which you have ruined.' The sons of Ua Carra took an affectionate leave of
                  St. Finnian, and as the Church of Tuam was the first which suffered from
                  their plundering, they wished it to be the first that they should restore.
                  They repaired it, and proceeded from place to place, making amends for the
                  injury they had inflicted on the churches of Connaught. Having restored all
                  the churches but one, the Ua Carra returned to St. Finnian, who inquired if
                  they had finished their work. They replied, 'We have repaired all the
                  churches but one.' ' Which is that?'asked Finnian. 'The Church of Ceann Mara
                  (Kinvara),' they said. ' Alas !' said the saint, ' this was the first church
                  you ought to have repaired the church of the holy man Coman ; return now,
                  and repair every damage, you have done to that place.' The brothers obeyed
                  St. Finnian's command, and restored the church. By the advice of St. Coman
                  they built a canoe, and undertook a voyage on the Atlantic Ocean."

                  Thus far the tale refers to St. Finnian ; the voyage and its results does
                  not come within the scope of this paper.

                  St. Finnian's mode of life was very austere, his usual food was bread and
                  herbs ; on festival days he allowed himself a little beer or whey ; he slept
                  on the bare grounds, and a stone served him for a pillow.

                  In his last illness the saint was attended by his former pupil St. Colomb,
                  of Tir-da-Ghlas, who administered to him the Holy Viaticum. The Four Masters
                  record his death A.D. 548; but the year 550 or 551 appears to be the correct
                  date. It is stated in some of our annals that Finnian died of the plague ;
                  there is no doubt that the plague was in Ireland during this period, viz.,
                  548 and 551. In the Chronicon Scotorum, under 551, we read : "A great
                  mortality, i. e., the Chronn Conaill." St. Finnian is enumerated among its
                  victims.

                  This great saint is commemorated by Oenghus in the following verse :

                  " A Tower of Gold over the sea,
                  May he bring help to my soul,
                  Is Finnian fair, the beloved root
                  Of the great Cluain-Eraird."

                  St. Finnian's sister, St. Regnach, was Abbess of Kilreynagh, near the
                  present town of Banagher, King's County.

                  Hardy, in his Descriptive Catalogue of British History, mentions four lives
                  of St. Finnian: viz., Ex. MS. Salmanticensis (which is given by Colgan) ;
                  MS. Life, Duke of Devonshire ; MS. Trinity College, Dublin, referred to by
                  Bishop Nicholson in his Irish Historical Library ; and MS. Bodleian Library,
                  which begins thus : " Fuit vir nobilia in Hiberniae partibus." (Hardy's
                  Catalogue, p. 128, vol. i., part 1.)

                  December 12th (the day of his death) is observed as his Feast.

                  JOHN M. THUNDER.

                  Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Volume 13 (1892), 810-815.



                  St. Columba (Colm) of Tyrdaglas, Abbot
                  --------------------------------------------------------
                  Born in Leinster, Ireland; died 548; feast may also be December 13.
                  Saint Columba, son of the Leinster noble named Crimthain, was a disciple
                  of Saint Finnian (f.d. today) and himself became a great master of the
                  spiritual life.

                  Finnian often had Saint Senach (f.d. March 8) keep an eye on the younger
                  seminarians at Clonard. Once Senach reported back to the holy abbot that
                  he found Columba kneeling in prayer, oblivious to everything about him,
                  with his arms stretched out to heaven and the birds alighting on his
                  shoulders. Finnian replied, "He is the one who will offer the Holy
                  Sacrifice for me at my death."

                  After founding and governing the monastery of Tyrdaglas on the Shannon
                  in Munster, Saint Columba died of the plague. He is generally described
                  as one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland and is also the co-founder of
                  Clonenagh with Saint Fintan (f.d. February 17) who became its second
                  abbot, and of Iniscaltra (Holy Island in the Shannon) (Benedictines,
                  D'Arcy, Healy, Husenbeth, Montague, Ryan).

                  Troparion of St Columba of Leinster tone 8
                  O pious Columba, as a disciple of our Father Finnian and a renowned
                  struggler, thou didst shine forth in the ascetic life./ O Ireland's
                  treasure, cease not to pray for those who labour, weeping and repenting,
                  for the salvation of their souls.


                  St. Cormac, Abbot
                  --------------------------------------------------------
                  6th century. The eminently holy, ancient Irish abbot, Saint Cormac, was
                  friend of Saint Columba (f.d. June 9), according to Adamnan
                  (Benedictines, Husenbeth).


                  St. Edburga (Eadburh) of Thanet, Abbess & Virgin
                  --------------------------------------------------------
                  Died 751. Saint Edburga, one of the royal family of Kent, succeeded
                  Saint Mildred (f.d. July 13) as abbess of Minster in Thanet. She is
                  known chiefly from Saint Boniface's (f.d. June 5) letters to her, in
                  which he thanks her for books, altar vestments, and other 'tokens of
                  affection' she had sent him and for the 'spiritual light' conveyed in
                  her letters. She had a new church built for her convent at Minster to
                  which she translated the relics of Saint Mildred. Edburga is also known
                  for her talent as a calligrapher. Her own relics were translated to
                  Saint Gregory's Church in Canterbury in 1055 (Attwater, Attwater 2,
                  Benedictines, Coulson, Husenbeth).


                  St. Colman of Glendalough, Abbot
                  --------------------------------------------------------
                  Died 659. An abbot Colman of Glendalough is mentioned in the Irish
                  calendars (Benedictines, Husenbeth).

                  Troparion of St Colman of Glendalough tone 8
                  Giving thy life to Christ in monastic poverty, thou didst teach us a
                  God-pleasing set of values, O Father Colman./ Wherefore intercede with
                  Christ our God that He will instil in us constancy of faith, patience in
                  trials and freedom from worldliness that we may be found worthy of His
                  great mercy.


                  St. Corentin (Cury)
                  --------------------------------------------------------
                  Died c. 490 (though some claim him for the 6th century); a second feast
                  day on May 1 is probably in honour of his translation. There may be some
                  confusion between Corentinus, first bishop of Cornouaille (Quimper),
                  Brittany, and the saintly founder and patron of Cury (Corentin) on
                  Lizard Island of Cornwall (died 401?) whose feast is also today, and
                  whose cultus spread throughout southwestern England and Wales. This
                  second was a hermit at the foot of Mount Menehont in Devonshire, who
                  preached with great success and is said to have died there. They may be
                  two people or one; however, in 1890, a fresco was
                  discovered at Breage (the mother-church of Lizard), which depicts Saint
                  Corentin/Cury in a cope and mitre with the pastoral staff of a bishop.
                  Beside him is a fish, from which he was reputed to have cut and eaten
                  one slice each day, without any diminution in the size of the fish.

                  The story that unites the two claims that Corentin was a Celtic hermit
                  who retired to the forest of Plomodiern, where he lived in solitude for
                  several years. After the death of Marcellus, who had subscribed to the
                  first council of Tours, and the several other British bishops who
                  migrated to Brittany, new pastors were needed for the British in
                  Armorica who were familiar with the language and customs. Thus, Corentin
                  was recruited and consecrated bishop by Saint Martin of Tours ((f.d.
                  November 11), who had been dead for some time). It is said that Count
                  Grallo I of Cornouaille (died c. 445) gave his palace at Quimper to
                  serve as the home and cathedral of the new bishop. An ancient cross
                  stands near his church. Corentin participated in the council of Angers
                  in 453 and signed the canons under the name Charaton. He was said to
                  have been a friend of Guennole (?).

                  Corentin's relics were translated to Marmoutier at Tours in 878 to
                  protect them from destruction at the hands of the Normans (Attwater 2,
                  Benedictines, Coulson, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).


                  St. Agatha of Wimborne, Nun
                  --------------------------------------------------------
                  Died c. 790. Saint Agatha, a Benedictine nun at Wimborne, crossed the
                  English Channel to Germany with her mentor Saint Lioba (f.d. September
                  28) in order to help Saint Boniface (f.d. June 5) in his missionary
                  labours (Benedictines).


                  Sources:
                  ========

                  Attwater, D. (1983). The Penguin Dictionary of Saints,
                  2nd edition, revised and updated by Catherine Rachel John.
                  New York: Penguin Books.

                  Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
                  (1947). The Book of Saints. NY: Macmillan.

                  Coulson, J. (ed.). (1960). The Saints: A Concise Biographical
                  Dictionary. New York: Hawthorn Books.

                  D'Arcy, M. R. (1974). The Saints of Ireland. Saint Paul, Minnesota:
                  Irish American Cultural Institute. [This is probably the most
                  useful book to choose to own on the Irish saints. The author
                  provides a great deal of historical context in which to place the
                  lives of the saints.]

                  Delaney, J. J. (1983). Pocket Dictionary of Saints.
                  New York: Doubleday Image.

                  Encyclopaedia of Catholic Saints, October. (1966).
                  Philadelphia: Chilton Books.

                  Farmer, D. H. (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Saints.
                  Oxford: Oxford University Press.

                  Healy, J. (1902). Ireland's Ancient Schools and Scholars.
                  Dublin: Sealy, Bryers and Walker.

                  Husenbeth, Rev. F. C., DD, VG (ed.). (1928). Butler's
                  Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints.
                  London: Virtue & Co.

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

                  Ryan, J. (1931). Irish Monasticism. Dublin: Talbot Press.


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