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25 September #2

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  • ambrois@xtra.co.nz
    Celtic and Old English Saints 25 September =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Ceolfrith of Wearmouth and Jarrow * St. Caian of Tregaian *
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 24, 2011
      Celtic and Old English Saints          25 September

      * St. Ceolfrith of Wearmouth and Jarrow
      * St. Caian of Tregaian
      * St. Findbar of Cork
      * St. Cadoc of Llancarfan

      Saint Finbar, First Bishop of Cork, and Confessor
      (Barrus, Barry, Barrocus, Lochann)
      Finbarr=Barr the White

      6th Century. He was the son of an artisan and a lady of the Irish royal
      court. Born in Connaught, Ireland, and baptized Lochan, he was educated
      at Kilmacahil, Kilkenny, where the monks named him Fionnbharr (white
      head) because of his light hair; he is also known as Bairre and Barr. He
      went on pilgrimage to Rome with some of the monks, visiting St. David in
      Wales on the way back. Supposedly, on another visit to Rome the Pope
      wanted to consecrate him a bishop but was deterred by a vision,
      notifying the pope that God had reserved that honour to Himself, and
      Finbar was consecrated from heaven and then returned to Ireland. At any
      rate, he may have preached in Scotland, definitely did in southern
      Ireland, lived as a hermit on a small island at Lough Eiroe, and then,
      on the river Lee, founded a monastery that developed into the city of
      Cork, of which he was the first bishop. His monastery became famous in
      southern Ireland and attracted numerous disciples. Many extraordinary
      miracles are attributed to him, and supposedly, the sun did not set for
      two weeks after he died at Cloyne about the year 633.


      The name of St. Findbarr holds a prominent place in the early history of the
      Irish Church. St. Cuimin of Connor, in his poem on the characteristic
      virtues of our saints, writes :

      "Fin-Barr, the torch of wisdom, loved
      Humility towards all men ;
      He never saw in pressing distress
      Any one whom he would not relieve, "

      To the ancient list of Irish saints, which illustrates their lives by
      comparison with the saints of other nations, St. Finbarr, who is styled
      "Bishop of Minister and Connaught," is placed in parallel with St.
      Augustine, the apostle of England. (Liber Hymnorum, I.A.S., p. 70. )

      The martyrology of Donegal marks St. Bairre's festival on the 25th of
      September. The martyrology of Tallaght on that day gives the feast of
      Barrind Corcaige, but adds, on the 26th of September vel hie, Barrind
      Corcaighe. In the famous Catalogue of the Three Orders of Irish Saints,
      published by Fleming and Usher, the name of S. Barrindau appears among the
      saints of the second order. Marianus O'Gorman, in his metrical martyrology,

      "May the noble Baire from Corcach
      Be before me to the great land,
      For he is blooming-sweet to the poor."

      St. Oengus, in his Felire, also commemorates on the 25th of September :

      "The solemnity of the beloved man,
      The festival of Bairre from Corcach."

      And the note is added in the Leabhar Breac: "This is the festival of Bairre
      from Corcach : he was of the race of Brian, son of Eochaidh Muidhmhedhoinn,
      and it is in Achadh Cill-Clochair, or Drochait, in Aird-Uladh on this day
      with Bairre." There is evidently an omission in this note, which is thus
      supplied in the Roman MS. of the felire : "Of the race of Brian Mac Eochaidh
      M. was Bairre of Corcach, and it is in Achadh Cill-Clochair. or at Drochait
      in Aird-Uladh, that his festival is kept ; or it is the feast of lomchadh
      that is kept in Cill-Clochair at Ard-Uladh on this day with llairre."

      Two ancient Latin lives of St. Finbarr were published by Mr. Caulfield in
      1864. In the Irish life preserved in the Brussels MSS. the virtues of the
      saint are thus compendiated : "His humility, his piety, his charity, his
      abstinence, his prayers by day and by night, won him great privileges : for
      he was godlike and pure of heart and mind, like Abraham ; mild and
      well-doing, like Moyses; a psalmist, like David ; wise, like Solomon; firm
      in the faith, like Peter; devoted to the truth, like Paul the Apostle; and
      full of the Holy Spirit, like John the Baptist. He was a lion of strength,
      and an orchard full of apples of sweetness, When the time of his death
      arrived, after erecting churches and monasteries to God, and appointing over
      them bishops, priests, and other degrees, and baptising and blessing
      districts and people, Barra went to Kill na-Cluana (i.e. Cloyne), and with
      him went Fiana, at the desire of Cormac and Baoithin, where they consecrated
      two churches. Then he said, ' It is time for me to quit this corporeal
      prison, and to go to the heavenly King who is now calling me to Himself.'

      And then Barra was confessed, and received the Holy Sacrament from the hand
      of Fiana, and his soul went to heaven, at the cross which is in the middle
      of the Church of Cloyne ; and there came bishops, priests, monks, and
      disciples, on his death being reported, to honour him. And they took him to
      Cork, the place of his resurrection, honouring him with psalms and hymns and
      spiritual songs ; and the angels bore his soul with joy unspeakable to
      heaven, to the company of the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and disciples
      of Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."

      Among the sacred treasures of Cork was preserved a copy of the Gospels,
      transcribed by St. Finbarr, and encased in a precious shrine: " Evangelium
      sacris Sancti Barrii digitis exscriptum librum gemmis auroque ornatum. "
      (Lynch's MS.)

      Towards the close of the l0th century, Columb Mac Kieregan sent this relic,
      borne by two priests, as a protection to Mahoun Mac Kennedy, King of
      Munster. It was brought back stained with that prince's blood, and our
      annalists relate that Bishop Cormac, raising his hands to heaven, uttered a
      prophecy (inserted in the ' Wars of the Danes,' p. 93,) in which, execrating
      the dread sacrilege which had been perpetrated, he prophetically foretold
      the future fate of the murderers.


      Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Vol VII, 1871, 184-186


      Troparion of St Finbar tone 4
      Truly thou art hymned, O Hierarch Finbar,/ as a Father of monastics and
      shepherd of souls./ Seeing our plight and feeling for us in our great
      necessity,/ cease not to intercede with Christ our God/ that He will
      raise up in our days pastors of thy stature to lead us into the way of

      Cadoc, Abbot of Llancarfan

      Died c. 575 AD. St Cadoc (Cadog, Catwig) was one of the most
      celebrated of the Welsh saints, but the earliest accounts of him were
      not written till some 600 years after the events they claim to record.
      According to these he was the son of St. Gundleus and St. Gwladys, and
      was baptized by the Irish St. Tatheus, to whom Gundleus entrusted the
      boy's education, "in preference to all the other teachers of Britain",
      in his school at Caerwent. At Llancarfan (formerly Nantcarfan), between
      Cardiff and Llantwit Major, Cadoc founded a monastery, and then passed
      over to Ireland, where he spent three years in study. On his return he
      went into Brecknock, for further study under a tutor named Bachan; here
      he miraculously relieved a famine by the discovery of an unknown store
      of wheat, and at the scene of this find founded the church of
      Llanspyddid, which still bears his name.

      Cadoc then went back to Llancarfan, which was the resort of many because
      of its fame for holiness and learning. We are particularly told that he
      gave his disciples (St Gildas is said to have been one of them) the
      example of living by the work of his own hands and not those of others,
      for "he who does not work shall not eat". His biographer Caradoc gives
      some details of
      the teaching methods at the monastery, which clearly represent his own
      practice in the eleventh century at Llancarfan, not Cadoc's. The
      monastery fed five hundred dependants and poor every day, and its abbot
      had authority over all the surrounding country.

      During Lent Cadoc would retire from all this activity to the solitude of
      the islands of Barry and Flatholm, but always came back to his monastery
      in time for Easter. Another place of retreat, bearing his name, is now
      called Cadoxton, by Neath.

      There is evidence that St Cadoc visited Brittany, Cornwall, and
      Scotland, founding a monastery at Cambuslang; and he is said to have
      been present at the synod of Llandewi Frefi, and to have made the
      common-form pilgrimage to Rome and Jerusalem. Very wonderful are the
      circumstances of his death, as reported by his biographer Lifris.
      Warned by an angel in a dream on the eve of Palm Sunday, he was
      transported "in a white cloud" to Benevento in Italy, where he was made
      bishop and met his death by martyrdom. Caradoc, too, takes him to
      Benevento, not miraculously, but by road, and says nothing about
      martyrdom: he died peacefully, and all the city accompanied him to
      burial, "with hymns and songs and lights". It is not unlikely
      that the actual place of St Cadoc's death was at Llansannor, a few miles
      from Llancarfan. His feast is observed today throughout Wales.

      St Cadoc's biographers were both clerics of Llancarfan: Lifris wrote his
      "vita" (text and translation in A.W. Wade-Evans, "Vitae sanctorum
      Britanniae, 1944) between 1073 and 1086, and Caradoc his about 1100.
      This long-lost life by Caradoc, found in the Gotha MS. I. 81, is printed
      in "Analecta Bollaniana, vol. lx (1942), pp. 35-67, with an introduction
      by Father P.
      Grosjean. There are two interesting notices of "King" Arthur in Lifris.

      See A.W. Wade-Evans, "Welsh Christian Origins" (1934), pp. 126-132;
      LBS., vol. ii, pp. 14-42;

      G.H. Doble, "St Cadoc in Cornwalll and Brittany (1937); KSS., pp.

      J. Barrett Davies in "Blackfriars", vol. xxix (1948), pp. 121 seq.;

      J.S.P. Tatlock, "Caradoc of Llancarfan" in "Speculum", vol. xiii (1938),
      pp. 138-152.

      For the influence of Cadoc in Ireland, see J. Ryan's "Irish Monasticism

      From "Butler's Lives of the Saints," Complete Edition, Edited, Revised,
      and Supplemented by Herbert J. Thurston, S.J. and
      Donald Attwater, Christian Classics, a division of Thomas More
      Publications, Allen, Texas. ISBN 0-87061-137


      St Cadoc's life is also covered in a number of podcasts by a Catholic lady
      in Wales. In the first one she starts to speak about his life at about 17:30
      in, and then there is a second broadcast detailing his various travels.



      In another podcast on Trevethin Pontypool, St Cadoc features again:

      Sixth century Wales as the British chieftains fight it out, St Anna of Gwent
      brings her son Tryddin to the Valley to begin a monastery, later enlarged
      and cleared possibly by Cadoc. Secrets of the Monks rituals in purifying the
      land. My visit to the present Church accompanied by the engaging Canon
      Pippin who guided and explained what I saw.Some prayers from St Cadoc's
      time. The Haunted Bell of Trevethin and the mystery of the burial of St
      Cadoc.....was the saint buried at Trevethin or Mamhilad?


      This lady's blog also has many wonderful pictures of Welsh churches and
      shrines which might be of interest to people on this list. On the entry to
      accompany the third broadcast she posted this item:

      *The Wisdom of St Cadoc

      Cadoc was known as 'The Wise'

      Without knowledge, no God.
      No man is the son of knowledge if he is not also the son of poetry.
      The best of attitudes is humility;
      the best of occupations, work;
      the best of sentiments, pity;
      the best of cares, justice;
      the best of pains, that which a man takes to make peace;
      the best of sorrows, sorrow for sin;
      the best of characters, generosity.
      Truth is the elder daughter of God.
      No man loves poetry without
      loving the light,
      nor light without truth,
      nor truth without loving God.
      The best of patriots is the man who tills the soil.
      No man is pious who is not cheerful.
      There is no king like him who is king of himself.
      Loving is Heaven; hatred is Hell.
      Conscience is the eye of God in the soul of man*


      Holy Father Cadoc, pray to God for us!

      Icon of St. Cadoc

      These Lives are archived at:

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