Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

28 February

Expand Messages
  • ambrois@xtra.co.nz
    Celtic and Old English Saints 28 February =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Sillian of Bangor * St. Ermina * St. Llibio * St.
    Message 1 of 12 , Feb 29 1:52 AM
    • 0 Attachment
      Celtic and Old English Saints 28 February

      * St. Sillian of Bangor
      * St. Ermina
      * St. Llibio
      * St. Maidoc
      * St. Oswald of Worcester

      St. Sillian (Sillan, Silvanus) of Bangor, Abbot
      Died c. 610. A disciple of St. Comgall (f.d. May 11) of Bangor, County
      Down, and his second successor as abbot of that monastery

      A site with a brief history of Bangor Abbey and a timeline of its Abbots
      up to 1170:

      Troparion of St Sillan tone 7
      Under thy God-pleasing rule, O Father Sillan,/ Bangor's monastery became
      a power-house of the true Faith./ As thou wast a bright beacon,/ guiding
      men on their journey to God,/ we beseech thee to be also a beacon for
      us,/ bringing us safely into the way of salvation.

      Kontakion of St Sillan tone 2
      Righteous Father Sillan, Road to our Saviour,/ Crown of Bangor's saints
      and joy of all monastics,/ we keep festival in thy honour, ever blessing
      thy name/ and imploring thy prayers for us sinners.

      * * *

      The Irish Monastery of Bangor was situated in the County Down, on the
      southern shore of Belfast Lough. Its founder is Saint Comgall (Feastday
      10 May, sometimes 11 May.) Sometimes the name was written "Beannchor",
      from the Irish word beann, a horn. According to Keating, a king of
      Leinster once had cattle killed there, the horns being scattered round,
      hence the name. The place was also called the Vale of Angels, because,
      says Jocelin, St. Patrick once rested there and saw the valley filled
      with angels.

      The founder of the abbey was St. Comgall, born in Antrim in 517, and
      educated at Clooneenagh and Clonmacnoise. The spirit of monasticism was
      then strong in Ireland. Many sought solitude the better to serve God,
      and with this object Comgall retired to a lonely island. The persuasions
      of his friends drew him from his retreat; later on he founded the
      monastery of
      Bangor, in 559. Under his rule, which was rigid, prayer and fasting were
      incessant. But these austerities attracted rather than repelled; crowds
      came to share his penances and his vigils; they also came for learning,
      for Bangor soon became the greatest monastic school in Ulster.

      Within the extensive rampart which encircled its monastic buildings, the
      Scriptures were expounded, theology and logic taught, and geometry, and
      arithmetic, and music; the beauties of the pagan classics were
      appreciated, and two at least of its students wrote good Latin verse.
      Such was its rapid rise that its pupils soon went forth to found new
      monasteries, and when, in 601, St. Comgall died, 3,000 monks looked up
      for light and guidance to the Abbot of Bangor.

      With the Danes came a disastrous change. Easily accessible from the sea,
      Bangor invited attack, and in 824 these pirates plundered it, killed 900
      of its monks, treated with indignity the relics of St. Comgall, and then
      carried away his shrine. A succession of abbots continued, but they were
      abbots only in name. The lands passed into the hands of laymen, the
      buildings crumbled.

      Among the Abbots of Bangor few acquired fame, but many of the students
      did. Findchua has his life written in the Book of Lismore; Luanus
      founded 100 monasteries and St. Carthage founded the great School of
      Lismore. From Bangor Saint Columbanus and Saint Gall crossed the sea,
      the former to found Luxeuil and Bobbio, the latter to evangelize

      In the ninth century a Bangor student, Dungal, defended orthodoxy
      against the Western iconoclasts. The present town of Bangor is a
      thriving little place, popular as a seaside resort. Local tradition has
      it that some ruined walls near the Protestant church mark the site of
      the ancient abbey; nothing else is left of the place hallowed by the
      prayers and penances of St. Comgall and St Sillian.

      St. Ermina (Febaria)
      6th century. Discreet Irish virgin (Encyclopaedia).

      St. Llibio
      6th century. Llibio is the patron of Llanllibio in the isle of Anglesey

      St. Maidoc (Madoc), Bishop
      6th century. There are several Welsh and Irish saints with this name
      and many variations of the name. Their histories are somewhat difficult
      to untangle. Today's Maidoc may be the abbot-bishop after whom
      Llanmadog in Glamorganshire is named (Benedictines).

      St. Oswald of Worcester, Bishop
      Born in England c. 925; died at Worcester, England, February 29, 992.
      St. Oswald was born of a Danish family that settled in England. He was
      the nephew of St. Odo (f.d. July 4), bishop of Canterbury, and Oskitell,
      first bishop of Dorchester and later York. He was educated by Odo, was
      appointed dean of Winchester, and soon after sent by Odo to the abbey of
      Fleury in France to learn monastic discipline.

      In 962, Oswald succeeded St. Dunstan (Duncan; f.d. May 19) as bishop of
      Worcester, and he was closely associated with Dunstan and St. Ethelwold
      (f.d. August 1) in the restoration of monasticism in England. His first
      foundation was at Westbury-on-Trym near Bristol, but his greatest
      establishment was at Ramsey in Huntingdonshire (972), from which were
      founded Pershore, Evesham, and other houses.

      St. Oswald shone as a bright star as bishop. He was energetic in
      improving the standard of the parochial clergy, fostering education, and
      enforcing clerical celibacy, and in 972 he was promoted to archbishop of
      York, where as a young man he had worked under his uncle Archbishop
      Oskitell (Oskytel). But he was obliged to retain the see of Worcester
      as well, presiding over both dioceses; it is with Worcester that he was
      always concerned.

      St. Oswald was almost always occupied in visiting his diocese, preaching
      without intermission, and reforming abuses. He encouraged learning and
      learned men. When not engaged in pastoral duties, Oswald could be found
      joining the monks of St. Mary's monastery in their exercises.

      To nourish his own humility and charity, Oswald always invited 12 of the
      poor to dine with him each day during Lent (some say every day). These
      he served himself, and also washed and kissed their feet. He died at
      St. Mary's just after fulfilling this Lenten observance and after
      receiving the viaticum, while repeatedly praying the Glory Be.

      A "Life" of Oswald was written very soon after his death; it speaks of
      his gentleness and kindness, the love that the people had for him, and
      his gaiety when he came to die. His body was translated by his
      successor Adulph ten years later and enshrined. Still later his relics
      were transferred to York (Attwater, Benedictines, Encyclopaedia, Gill,

      In art, St. Oswald is a bishop driving off the devil with a stone. At
      times he may be portrayed washing the feet of the poor (Roeder).

      Troparion of the saint, in Tone IV
      O glorious Oswald, thou rule of faith and model of meekness,
      splendour of Worcester and luminary of York, like a tree in the
      midst of paradise didst thou bear the fruit of the virtues for thy Lord,
      and therewith thou enlightenest all who cherish thine honoured
      memory and ever cry out to thee in prayer: Intercede, O holy bishop,
      that our souls may be saved.

      Service to our Holy Father Oswald of Worcester,
      Archbishop of York

      Lives kindly supplied by:
      For All the Saints:

      An Alphabetical Index of the Saints of the West

      These Lives are archived at:
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.