St. Macaille (Macculi,
Macull) of Croghan, Bishop
Feastday: April 25
Died c. 489. The sources say that there are two bishops whose feasts fall on the same day, both named Macaille. One was a disciple of Saint Patrick, and the other was converted by him (though the stories do not indicate that either was really a disciple, per se, of Patrick). One was a disciple of Saint Mel and assisted Mel in receiving the vow of Saint Brigid. There is a tradition that Mel erred in using the service for the consecration of a bishop, and that Macaille strongly protested. Saint Mel refused to admit he was wrong and said that it was all the will of God. This Macaille became the first bishop of Croghan, Offaly. The other, sometimes known as Saint Maccai, was also a disciple of Saint Patrick and is venerated on the isle of Bute.
The other Macaille, who was converted by Patrick, was an Irish prince and captain of robbers. Upon his conversion, he became a new man by putting on the spirit of Christ. In order to avoid the temptations of the world, he retired to the Isle of Man (Eubonia) off the coast of Lancashire, England. Earlier Patrick had sent his nephew, Saint Germanus, as bishop to plant the Church on the island. Germanus was succeeded by Saints Romulus and Conindrus during whose time Macaille arrived on the island and began to live an austere, penitential life in the mountainous area now named after him Saint Maughold. After their deaths, Macaille was unanimously chosen as bishop by the Manx people. Macaille is commemorated in both the British and Irish calendars.
In one of the 18 parish churchyards on the island can be found Saint Maughold's well. The very clear water of the well is received in a large stone coffin. Those seeking cures of various ailments, particularly poisoning, are seated in the saint's chair just above the well and given a glass of well-water to drink. Macaille's shrine was here until his relics were scattered during the Reformation (Benedictines, Encyclopaedia, Husenbeth, Montague).
Troparion of St Macaille Tone 2 Thou wast a worthy companion of Ireland's Saints/ and didst work with holy Patrick, Mel and Brigid./ Protect with thy prayers all who labour for the Faith/ that God may be glorified,/ O righteous Father Macaille.
St. Maccallin of Lusk, Bishop
(also known as Maccallan, Macculin, Macoulmdus)
Feastday: September 6
Died c. 497. The Irish Calendar commemorates Saint Maccallin, bishop of Lusk, who is also venerated in Scotland which he once visited
St. MaCartan, bishop. Clogher diocese. circa 505
(Macartan, MacCartan, Maccarthen)
Tradition names Macartan as the "strong man" of Saint Patrick, who established the church in Clogher and spread the Gospel in Tyrone and Fermanagh. An eighth century manuscript of the gospels, associated with a silver shrine, Domnach Airgid, in the Royal Irish Academy, is linked with the early Christian life of Clogher diocese .
Died c. 505; feast day formerly March 24. Saint Macartin (in Irish - Aedh mac Carthin) was an early disciple and companion of Saint Patrick during the latter's missions into pagan territory. He is said to have been consecrated bishop of Clogher in Tyrone by Patrick in 454. It is said the Saint Brigid, Macartin's niece, was present at the founding of the see. Tradition names Macartan as the "strong man" of Saint Patrick, who established the church in Clogher and spread the Gospel in Tyrone and Fermanagh.
Macartin is also one of the earliest Irish saints to be known as a miracle-worker. His holiness is revealed not so much by any "vita," which are non-existent, but by the high veneration in which he is held. Saint Bede records that the earth was taken from his grave as holy relics. His Office is the only one to survive from an Irish source.
A reliquary, called the Great Shrine of Saint Mac Cairthinn, which was designed to contain relics of the True Cross as well as his bones, has been altered over the centuries but still survives as the "Domnach Airgid" in the National Museum. It's inner yew box was given to Macartin by Patrick together with the latter's episcopal staff and Bible.
The Cloch-Oir (Golden Stone), from which this ancient diocese takes its name, was a sacred ceremonial stone to the druids, It was given to Macartin by an old pagan noble, who had harassed Macartin in every possible way until the saint's patient love won the local ruler to the faith. The stone is still preserved and the noble's son, Tighernach of Clones, succeeded Macartin as bishop (Benedictines, D'Arcy, Farmer, Healy, Kenney, Montague, Muirhead, Needham).
St.Machai of Bute, Abbot(also known as Maccai)
Feastday: April 11
5th century. Machai, a disciple of Saint Patrick, founded a monastery on the isle of Bute (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
St. Maedhog- Aedhan,
Abbot (also known as Aedhan, Mogue)
Feastday: April 11
6th century. The Irish Abbot Saint Maedhog of Clonmore, was closely associated with SS. Onchu and Finan (Benedictines). Troparion of St Maedhog tone 3 Thou didst govern thy monastery of Clonmore/ in Ireland's Age of Saints, O holy Abbot Maedhog./ Pray to Christ our God that we too may find grace/ to live in faith and penitence,/ that we may attain to salvation.
Saint Maelrubha, Abbot
of Applecross, Isle of Skye, Scotland
(Ma-Rui, Molroy, Errew, Summaryruff, also Sagart-Ruadh)
Feastday: April 21
This little-known Saint was one of the most active of the numerous Irish proselytizers who underwent the white martyrdom (self-imposed exile) in what is now Scotland. Unfortunately there is no known extant life or hagiography of this saint, so details of his life must be gleaned from other sources. There are numerous citations of this Saint in various Irish Annals and Martyrologies.
St. Maelrubha was born near Derry, Ireland in 642. His father was of the Cenel nEogain (the clan of Eoghan), making the saint eighth in line of direct descent of the famous Niall of the Nine Hostages. According to legend, Niall was responsible for the abduction of the St. Patrick to Ireland from Britain. Regardless, this lineage made St. Maelrubha a distant cousin of St. Columcille. His mother was of the Cruithne, a Pictish race that settled in the north of Ireland, and a niece of St. Comgal of Bangor.
St. Maelrubha entered the monastery at Bangor, Ireland in his youth and departed for the land of the Northern Picts in 671. In the Felire of Aengus his mission is recorded, "Into Scotland with purity after leaving every happiness went our brother Maelrubba". He probably put in initially on the isle of Islay and worked his way up the west coast of Scotland over the course of the next two years. He eventually settled in Appurcrossan, now known as Applecross, and in 673 St. Maelrubha established his famous monastery that was his base in converting the Picts to Christianity.
If one goes on placename dedications, this athlete for Christ roamed far and wide. Sites bearing his name, or some form of his name, range as far north as Loch Broom, as far south as Islay, as far west as Harris, and up the Great Glen toward Inverness.
From his monastery Maelrubba founded many churches in the glens and islands of north-west Scotland, but the Gaelic place names make it difficult to distinguish between the dedications to Maelrubba and those to the honour of Our Lady, the suffix of endearment Mo or Ma almost always being added to his name. His name, shorn of the suffix, means "the red priest". Certainly the chapel on the island in Loch Maree, where there is also a spring of water with healing powers, is one of his foundations, and the Celtic cross in the churchyard at Kilmory Knap by Loch Sween is in his territory. In the Middle Ages the area round his abbey at Applecross was privileged, and even now the parish in Gaelic is A'Chromraich, The Sanctuary.
St. Maelrubha fell asleep in the Lord in the year 722 at the advanced age of eighty, and although the Irish traditions are that he died of old age, the Scottish assert that he was killed by the Danes, the Black Gentiles. In the Aberdeen Breviary the legend says that he died at Urquart in the Black Isle, on the eastern side of the county of Ross and Cromerty, and for three days he lay severely wounded comforted by angels. A bright light hovering over the dying saint attracted a priest, who was able to give him the viaticum, and later a church was built over the place. His body was buried in his church at Applecross, and a carved stone markes the site of his grave.
Due to the proximity of Applecross to the Isle of Skye and his numerous works on the island, St. Maelrubha is considered to be the patron saint of the southern and central portions of the island (St. Columcille has the upper portion). On his journeys to the island from Applecross, St. Maelrubha most likely put in at Ashaig in the Strath district. This location is considered to be one of the earliest Christian sites on the island and there is a stone-covered well bearing his name, Tobar na Marui, at the site.
According to accounts, in his advanced years St. Maelrubha tried to rise from sitting one day by grabbing ahold of a branch of an ash tree. While rising, the tree was uprooted and a spring gushed forth and the water from this spring possessed healing powers. Another tree stood close to the well upon which the Saint would hang a bronze bell to gather the faithful. As with the well, the bell possessed miraculous powers in that it would ring of its own accord when the Saint was preparing to speak. It was also at that location that the Saint would mount the Rock of the Book, Creag naLeabhair, known today as the Pulpit Rock. There is another healing spring associated with this Saint on an island in the Loch Maree (Maree is the anglicization of the Scots' Gaelic Maoil Ruibhe, of Maelrubha).
There is another location farther down the Strath district on Skye, on the Strathaird peninsula, that bears the Saint's name. This site is known as Kilmarie (again, an anglicization of the Scots Gaelic.) All that remains of the site today is a small enclosed burial ground. Nearby is a cave where, according to local accounts, St. Maelrubha would preach to the faithful in inclement weather. Finally, there is also a small loch close to the Kilmarie where the Saint was said to have subdued a creature like that of the Loch Ness (cf. Vita Columbae by Adam, book 2, section 27 http://www.usu.edu/~history/norm/columb~1.htm ).
Following the Saint's repose, the land for six miles around his monastery was considered sacred and protected. Today the land is called in Gaelic A'Chomraich, The Sanctuary. The staff of the Saint was believed to have existed at Kilvary in Argyll. Guarding this staff was the duty of the Dewars of Scotland. Unfortunately, the staff disappeared around the time of the Reformation in Scotland.
This Life kindly supplied by Maelrubha Donley
Another Life of St.
(Ma-Rui, Molroy, Errew, Summaryruff, also Sagart-Ruadh)
An abbot and martyr, founder of Abercrossan, b. 642; d. 21 April, 722. He was descended from Niall, King of Ireland, on the side of his father Elganach. His mother, Subtan, was a niece of St. Comgall the Great, of Bangor. St. Maelrubha was born in the county of Derry and was educated at Bangor. When he was in his thirtieth year he sailed from Ireland for Scotland, with a following of monks. For two years he travelled about, chiefly in Argyll, and founded about half-a dozen churches then settled at Abercrossan (Applecross), in the west of Ross. Here he built his chief church and monastery in the midst of the Pictish folk, and thence he set out on missionary journeys, westward to the islands Skye and Lewis, eastward to Forres and Keith, and northward to Loch Shinn, Durness, and Farr. It was on this last journey that he was martyred by Danish vikings, probably at Teampull, about nine miles up Strath-Naver from Farr, where he had built a cell. He was buried close to the River Naver, not far from his cell, and his grave is still marked by "a rough cross-marked stone". The tradition, in the "Aberdeen Breviary", that he was killed at Urquhart and buried at Abercrossan is probably a mistake arising from a confusion of Gaelic place-names.
Maelrubha was, after St. Columba, perhaps the most popular saint of the north-west of Scotland. At least twenty-one churches are dedicated to him, and Dean Reeves enumerates about forty forms of his name. His death occurred on 21 April, and his feast has always been kept in Ireland on this day; but in Scotland (probably owing to the confusion with St. Rufus) it is kept on 27 August.
St. Maidoc of Fiddown,
Feastday: March 23
5th century. Saint Maidoc, the Irish abbot of Fiddown in Kilkenny, was very highly esteemed (Benedictines, Encyclopaedia).
St. Malachy O' More
d. 1148 Feastday: November 3
Bishop famous for writing
prophecies of the popes. Also listed as Mael Maedoc ua Morgair or Maolrnhaodhog
ua Morgair, Malachy was born in Armagh, Ireland, in 1095. He was ordained by
St. Cellach or Celsus of Armagh in 1132 and studied under Bishop St. Maichius
of Lismore. Malachy reformed ecclesiastical discipline and replaced the Celtic
liturgy with the Roman when he served as abbot of Bangor. In 1125 he was made
bishop of Connor, using Bangor as his seat. He also established a monastery at
Iveragh, Kerry. He was named archbishop of Armagh in 1129. In 1138, he resigned
and made a pilgrimage to Rome. He visited St. Bernard at Clairvaux, France, wanting to be a monk there, but returned to Ireland to found Mellifont Abbey, also serving
as papal legate to Ireland. He returned to Clairvaux and died on November 2 in
St. Bernard's arms. St. Bernard declared him a saint, an action confirmed in
1190 by Pope Clement III. Malachy is known for many miracles, includinghealing
the son of King David I of Scotland. Malachy's prophecies did notappear until
Tradition states that Malachy wrote them while in Rome and that they were buried in papal archives until 1597, when Dom Arnold de Wyon discovered them. Serious doubts remain as to the true authorship of the prophecies.
St. Marnock of Annandale, Bishop (Marnanus, Marnan, Marnoc)
Feastday: March 1
Died c. 625. An Irish monk under St. Columba (f.d. June 9) at Iona, and afterwards a missionary bishop, who died at Annandale, and was much venerated in the neighbourhood of the Scottish border. He has given his name to Kilmarnock in Scotland. He has a second feast day on October 25 (Benedictines, Encyclopaedia).
St. Maughold of Man,
Bishop Died c.
Feastday: April 25
(also known as Macaille, Maccaldus, Machalus, Machella, Maghor, Maccul)
Saint Maughold was an Irish prince and reputedly a captain of robbers who was converted by Patrick. Upon his conversion, he became a new man by putting on the spirit of Christ. One version of the legend says that Patrick told him to put to sea in a coracle without oars as a penance for his evil deeds. Another says that he set sail in order to avoid the temptations of the world. In both stories, he retired to the Isle of Man (Eubonia) off the coast of Lancashire, England.
Earlier Patrick had sent his nephew, Saint Germanus, as bishop to plant the Church on the island. Germanus was succeeded by Saints Romulus and Conindrus during whose time Maughold arrived on the island and began to live an austere, penitential life in the mountainous area now named after him Saint Maughold. After their deaths, Maughold was unanimously chosen as bishop by the Manks.
In one of the 18 parish churchyards on the island can be found Saint Maughold's well. The very clear water of the well is received in a large stone coffin. Those seeking cures of various ailments, particularly poisoning, are seated in the saint's chair just above the well and given a glass of well-water to drink. Maughold's shrine was here until the relics were scattered during the Reformation.
Maughold, commemorated in both the British and Irish calendars, is described in the Martyrology of Oengus as "a rod of gold, a vast ingot, the great bishop MacCaille." Many topological features on the Isle of Man, which he divided into 25 parishes, bear Maughold's name. A church at Castletown, Scotland, is dedicated to him. William Worcestre said that he was a native of the Orkneys, and that his shrine was on the Isle of Man (Attwater, Benedictines, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Gill, Husenbeth, Montague).
St. Machald of Man (Manghold or Machaldus) (498)
There are very many ways of spelling his name from MacCaille, through Maccul and the Latin Machaldus, to Maughold, as he is called in the Isle of Man. In the life of St. Patrick, we meet him as the leader of a band of brigands, who preyed on travellers and had no respect for either this missionary bishop or the God whom he proclaimed. When Patrick was at Saul, Machald and his desperadoes hatched a little plot. One of them, named Garban, would pretend to be dead, be covered with a cloak, and would lie by the side of the road. When Patrick came by, Machald would beg him to pray over the corpse, and as he uncovered the body, the whole band would set upon him.
The stratagem did not go as they had planned. When the cloak was raised Garban was really dead. The shock to the robbers was immense, and they fell before the good bishop, confessing their guilt and beseeching him for their comrade. St. Patrick prayed over them and Garban was restored to life. They were ordered to return their ill gotten gains to their rightful owners, and Machald, who had asked for a more severe penance, was told to chain himself to a boat, row out to sea and, having cast away the oars and the key of his fetters, allow himself to be driven to whatever land God should choose.
Machald obeyed, and he was washed up in a bay on the Isle of Man, where two Christian missionaries, Conindrus and Romulus, had their settlement. Previously that day, they had caught a fish, in which was the key that could unlock Machald's manacles, so he shared the holy men's abode and became their servant. They taught him letters, and eventually he was ordained a priest. When Germanus, whom Patrick later sent to evangelise the island, died, Conindrus became Bishop of Man, and Machald succeeded him as third bishop. To him is ascribed the division of the island into seventeen parishes, and he is reputed to have visited Scotland and Wales, although he never returned to Ireland. He died ten years after St. Patrick and was buried at the church that bears his name, where there is still a great Celtic Cross. In the churchyard there was, for many years, a stone coffin, which held crystal clear water, which was much prized by the islanders for healing various diseases but it was later destroyed by the Danes.
The Chronicles of Man, written by the monks of Rushen Abbey on the island, and now in the British Museum, records how once a Viking, after a battle at Ramsey, planned to rob the church, but that night was visited by St. Machald, who struck him three times on his chest with his staff. He died from a heart attack, and his companions sailed away hurriedly. The ancient arms of the diocese used to portray a bishop standing in a boat, with a star and key above him. St. Machald is revered as the main patron of the Isle of Man (Baring-Gould, Bowen).
St. Marianus Scotus
(Muirdach MacRobartaigh or Muiredach MacGroarty), Abbot
Feastday: February 9
Born in Donegal, Ireland; died 1088. The noble MacRobartaigh family is related to the O'Donnels, who were the hereditary keepers of the Cathach (Battle Book of Colmcille). In 1067, Muirdach set out with some companions on a pilgrimage to Rome. En route he was induced to become a Benedictine at Michelsberg Abbey (near Bamberg), Germany. The pilgrims stopped to rest at a hostel maintained by the local convent. Its abbess, Emma, learned that Muirdach was extraordinarily gifted at producing manuscripts. Using the seemingly irresistible powers of persuasion that all nuns seem to have, he took up her suggestion and migrated to Upper Minster at Regensburg to create the literary treasures of Saint Peter's Church in Regensburg. The most famous of these are the Pauline Epistles that now reside in the Imperial Library at Vienna, Austria. The quality and quantity of his artful productions, which appear inspired by the Holy Spirit gained for him a reputation for sanctity.
In 1078, he founded and became the abbot of the abbey of Saint Peter in Regensburg. Having successfully taken charge of the church and abbey attached to it for the task of copying manuscripts, other Irish monks were attracted to the mission. The abbey expanded to the point that, within 10 years, plans were made for another such monastery. In this way, Muirdach originated the congregation of 12 "Scottish," that is, Irish monasteries in southern Germany. (The reason for the term "Scottish" is that it was used from the time of the Romans for the Irish. Even 200 years after the establishment of the Scottish monarchy, the term was commonly used for things Irish.
Saint James Abbey, like the ones to follow, was established with funds sent from Ireland. They retained the character and enjoyed privileges normally granted to Irish monasteries.
[St. Muirdach's life straddles the Great Schism which cleft Christendom in two]
Feastday: November 2
St. Maura, the Irish sister of St. Brigid. There legend is that they were Scottish princesses who were murdered by pagan outlaws while on a pilgrimage to Rome. Their bodies are enshrined there. They are believed to be the same St. Maura and St. Britt who were 5th century soldiers per St. Euphronius and St. Martin of Tours. Also there is another legend of them by St. Baya. Their feast day is on November 2.
St. Medana of
Feastday: November 19
Born in Ireland; 8th century. The virgin Saint Medana fled to Scotland to escape her seducers and lived in Galloway. She is possibly identical with Saint Midnat (f.d. November 18) venerated in West Meath(Benedictines, Encyclopaedia).
Feast Day: February 6
He is said to have been the son of Conis and Darerca, the sister of St. Patrick, whom he accompanied to Ireland and helped to evangelize in that country. According to the Life of St. Brigid, he is said to have had no fixed See, which might fit in his being a missionary. St. Patrick himself built the church at Ardagh and to this he appointed his nephew, Mel. Acting upon the apostolic precept, he supported himself by working with his hands, and what he gained beyond bare necessities, he gave to the poor.
For sometime, he lived with his aunt Lupait, but slanderous tongues spread serious accusations against them, and St. Patrick himself came to investigate their conduct. Mel was plowing when he arrived, but he cleared himself of the charge by miraculously picking up a live fish from the ground as if from a net. Lupait established her innocence by carrying glowing coals without burning herself or her clothing. St. Patrick was satisfied, but he told his nephew in future, to do his fishing in the water and his plowing on the land, and he moreover, enjoined them to avoid scandal by separating, living and praying far apart.
Died c. 488-490. Mel and his brother Melchu (plus Munis and Rioch) were sons among the 17 sons and two daughters of Saint Patrick's sister, Darerca (f.d. March 22) and her husband Conis. While all of the children are reputed to have entered religious life, Mel and Melchu,together with their brothers Muinis and Rioch, accompanied Patrick to Ireland and joined him in his missionary work.
Patrick ordained Mel and Melchu bishops. Patrick is reputed to have appointed Mel bishop of Ardagh, and Melchu to the see of Armagh (or vice versa). There is some evidence that Melchu may have been a bishop with no fixed see, who may have succeeded his brother. Some scandal was circulated about Mel, who lived with his Aunt Lipait but both cleared themselves by miraculous means to Patrick, who ordered them to live apart.
According to an ancient tradition, Mel professed Saint Brigid as a nun. During the rite, he inadvertently read over her the episcopal consecration, and Saint Macaille (f.d. April 25) protested. The ever serene Mel, however, was convinced that it happened according to the will of God and insisted that the consecration should stand.
Brigid and certain virgins along with her went to take the veil from Bishop Mel in Telcha Mide. Blithe was he to see them. For humility Brigid stayed so that she might be the last to whom a veil should be given. A fiery pillar rose from her head to the roof ridge of the church. Then said Bishop Mel: "Come, O holy Brigid, that a veil may be sained on thy head before the other virgins." It came to pass then, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, that the form of ordaining a bishop was read out over Brigid. Macaille said that a bishop's order should not be confirmed on a woman. Said Bishop Mel "No power have I in this matter. That dignity hath been given by God unto Brigid, beyond every (other) woman." Wherefore the men of Ireland from that time to this give episcopal honour to Brigid's successor.
Most likely this story relates to the fact that Roman diocesan system was unknown in Ireland. Monasteries formed the centre of Christian life in the early Church of Ireland. Therefore, abbots and abbesses could hold held some of the dignity and functions that a bishop would on the Continent. Evidence of this can be seen also at synods and councils, such as that of Whitby, which was convened by Saint Hilda. Women sometimes ruled double monasteries; thus, governing both men and women. Bridget, as a pre-eminent abbess, might have fulfilled some semi-episcopal functions, such as preaching, hearing confessions (without absolution), and leading the neighbouring Christians.
Nothing is definitely known about these saints; however, Mel has a strong cultus at Longford, where he was the first abbot-bishop of a richly endowed monastery that flourished for centuries. The cathedral of Longford is dedicated to Mel, as is a college.
The crozier believed to have belonged to Saint Mel is now kept at Saint Mel's College in a darkened bronze reliquary that was once decorated with gilt and coloured stones. It was found in the 19th century at Ardagh near the old cathedral of Saint Mel.
The various sources are rather confusing. It is possible that Mel was bishop of Armagh and/or that Melchu and Mel are the same person(Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Curtayne2, D'Arcy, Delaney, Farmer, Healy, Henry2, Montague, Ryan).
Troparion of Ss Mel and
Mun tone 5
Accompanying Ireland's Enlightener, your illustrious uncle,/ on his missionary journeyings,/ O blessed Hierarchs Mel and Mun,/ and being blessed with the gift of oratory,/ you inspired many to reject the darkness of paganism and to believe in Christ./ Pray for us, O holy ones,/ that the darkness of our sins may be blotted out by the mercy of our God.
Kontakion of Ss Mel and
Mun tone 2
As streams of pure doctrine flowed from your blessed lips,/ O righteous Mel and Mun,/ pray to Christ our God that the streams of His compassion and forgiveness/ will be poured out on us worthless sinners.
St. Meldon (Medon) of
Feastday: February 7
6th century. An Irishman who died at Peronne, France, where he was a hermit and where he is the titular saint of several churches (Benedictines).
St. Mella of
Doire-Melle, Abbess Widow
Feastday: April 25
Born at Connaught; died c. 780. Saint Mella was the mother of Saints Cannech and Tigernach. After the death of her husband, Mella embraced religious life and died as abbess of Doire- Melle, Leitrim(Benedictines).
St. Michan of Dublin
Feastday: August 25
Date unknown. Nothing is known about Saint Michan except that there is a church dedicated to him in Dublin, which is known for the incorrupted bodies of Norman knights entombed within it. Some of the bodies are 800 years old. The church itself was confiscated by the Protestants during the Reformation (Montague).
St. Mirin of Bangor amd Strathclyde, Bishop
(also known as Merinus, Merryn, Meadhran)
Feastday: September 15
Died 620. Saint Mirin, a contemporary of Saint Columba, was a disciple of Saint Comgall at Bangor (County Down). He had a powerful influence in the area of Strathclyde, south of Glasgow, Scotland. There he founded and was abbot of Paisley abbey, where he died and was buried. His shrine became a pilgrimage centre. Mirin is venerated by both Protestants and Catholics in both Ireland and Scotland, where there is a chapel dedicated to him among the ruins of Inch Murryn, the largest island in Loch Lomond.
He is also patron of the British football club called Saint Mirren's of Paisley (Benedictines, Farmer, Montague).
Troparion of St Merryn tone 4
As a bishop thou wast an icon of Christ, O holy Merryn,/ and by thy
godly life thou didst win many souls for Him./ Pray for us too that we
may be numbered among the elect.
St. Mochelloc of
(Cellog, Mottelog, Motalogus)
Feastday: March 26
Died c. 639. Mochelloc is the patron saint of Kilmallock in Limerick, Ireland. Reliable details of his life are unavailable (Benedictines).
St. Mochta of Louth, Abbot Bishop
(Mocheteus, Mochteus, Mochuta)
Feastday: August 19
Died c. 534. He was born in Britain but was brought to Ireland as a
child. Saint Mochta was an important saint in Ireland, as is evident by
the number of stories that grew up around his name. He was a disciple
of Saint Patrick, who was educated and consecrated bishop in Rome by
Pope St. Leo I, but some scholars believe he was consecrated by Saint
When he returned to Ireland, he settled at a place in County Meath
called Kell Mor Ydan (now unknown). Local opposition led him to move
north to Louth in eastern Ireland. Louth was originally the site of a
shrine to the Celtic god Lugh. With twelve companions Saint Mochta
founded a large monastery that gained a nation wide reputation. Both
monastery and village were burned and plundered frequently by the Danes
in the period 829-968
St Mochta is claimed as the first bishop of Louth. Among the legends
that arose, he and Patrick made a pact that each would care for the
other's community after the founder's death. It is also claimed that
Mochta numbered 200 bishops among his disciples and lived to be 300
years old - a punishment because he doubted the ages of many of the
patriarchs of the Old Testament. Scholars believe that he, the last of
Patrick's disciples then alive, died at 90.
Louth, the smallest county in Ireland, covers an area of only of only
317 square miles. It runs northwards from the River Boyne to Carlingford
Lough, consisting mainly of fertile undulating country with a coastline
of wide sandy bays and occasional rocky headlands. In the north,
however, between Dundalk Bay and Carlingford Lough, is the mountainous
Cooley Peninsula. The territory now known as County Louth figures
prominently in the epic tales of ancient Ireland. It was also the scene
of important events, and many chapters of Ireland's history are
illustrated by the county's numerous relics of the past(Benedictines,
St. Modan, Abbot of
Stirling, Falkirk, and Maelros (Melrose), Scotland
Feastday: February 4
6th century. About 522, Modan, son of an Irish chieftain, professed himself at Dryburgh Abbey near Mailros, Scotland. Being persuaded that a Christian grows in holiness only by spending time with God, he gave six or seven hours daily to prayer and seasoned all his other activities with more prayer. A spirit of prayer is founded in the purity of the affections, the fruit of self-denial, humility, and obedience. Therefore, Modan practised austerity to crucify his flesh and senses. He practised humility by subjecting his will so swiftly and cheerfully to that of his superiors that they unanimously declared they never saw any one so perfectly divested of all self-will as was Modan.
He became abbot of Dryburgh and proved the maxim that no man can govern others well unless his masters the art of obedience himself. He was inflexible in maintaining discipline, but did so with winning sweetness and charity. His prudence in providing instruction or reproof gave pleasure, gained hearts, inspired love, and communicated the spirit of every duty.
He also preached the faith at Stirling and other places near Forth, especially, Falkirk, but frequently interrupted his apostolic employments to retire among the craggy mountains of Dumbarton, where he usually spent 30-40 days at once in prayer. He died at Alcluid (later called Dunbritton, now Dumbarton) where he is venerated (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
St. Modomnoc (Domnoc,
Dominic, Modomnock)O'Neil, Bishop
Feastday: February 13
Died c. 550. Modomnoc, descended of the Irish royal line of O'Neil, had to leave Ireland to train for the priesthood, since he was a student before the creation of the great Irish monasteries. His name is most likely to have been Dom or Donogh but the Celtic saints were so tenderly loved that "my", "little" and "dear" were very often added to the names, which completely altered their appearance. Another disciple from Ireland much loved by St.David was originally called Aidan, but usually appears in accounts of the monastery as Maidoc.
He crossed the English Channel to be educated under the great Saint David at Mynyw (Menevia, now Saint David's) Monastery in Wales. All those who resided in the community were expected to share in the manual work as well as the study and worship, and there is a story which tells how one day Modomnoc was working with another monk making a road, when he had occasion to rebuke him for some matter. The other monk was seized with anger and took up a crowbar, but before he could bring it down on Modomnoc, SaintDavid, who was witness to the incident, stayed his arm by his spiritual powers and it remained paralysed.
Modomnoc was given charge of the bees and he loved it. And so did everyone else--they all loved honey, but few like taking charge of the hives. Modomnoc liked the bees almost more than he liked their honey. He cared for them tenderly, keeping them in straw skeps in a special sheltered corner of the garden, where he planted the kinds of flowers best loved by the bees.
Every time they swarmed, he captured the swarm very gently and lovingly and set up yet another hive. He talked to the bees as he worked among them and they buzzed around his head in clouds as if they were responding. And, of course, they never stung him.
At the end of summer, they gave him much honey, so much that Modomnoc needed help carrying it all inside. The monks never ran out of honey for their meals or making mead to drink. The good Modomnoc thanked God for this, and he also thanked the bees. He would walk among the skeps in the evening and talk to them, and the bees, for their part, would crowd out to meet him. All the other monks carefully avoided that corner of the monastery garden because they were afraid of being stung.
As well as thanking the bees, Modomnoc did everything he could to care for them in cold and storm. Soon his years of study ended, and Modomnoc had to return to Ireland to begin his priestly ministry. While he was glad to be returning home, he knew he would be lonely for his bees. On the day of his departure, he said good-bye to the Abbot, the monks, and his fellow students. Then he went down to the garden to bid farewell to his bees.
They came out in the hundreds of thousands in answer to his voice and never was there such a buzzing and excitement among the rows and rows of hives. The monks stood at a distance watching the commotion in wonder, "You'd think the bees knew," they said. "You'd think they knew that Modomnoc was going away."
Modomnoc resolutely turned and went down to the shore and embarked the ship. When they were about three miles from the shore, Modomnoc saw what looked like a little black cloud in the sky in the direction of the Welsh coast. He watched it curiously and as it approached nearer, he saw to his amazement that it was a swarm of bees that came nearer and nearer until finally it settled on the edge of the boat near him. It was a gigantic swarm--all the bees from all the hives, in fact. The bees had followed him!
This time Modomnoc did not praise his friends. "How foolish of you," he scolded them, "you do not belong to me but to the monastery! How do you suppose the monks can do without honey, or mead? Go back at once, you foolish creatures!" But if the bees understood what he said, they did not obey him. They settled down on the boat with a sleepy kind of murmur, and there they stayed. The sailors did not like it one bit and asked Modomnoc what he intended to do.
He told them to turn the boat back for Wales. It was already too far for the bees to fly back, even if they wanted to obey him. He could not allow his little friends to suffer for their foolishness. But the wind was blowing the boat to Ireland and when they turned back, the sail was useless. The sailors had to furl it and row back to the Welsh coast. They did it with very bad grace, but they were too much afraid of the bees to do anything else.
Saint David and the monks were very surprised to see Modomnoc coming back and looking rather ashamed. He told them what had happened. The moment the boat had touched land again, the bees had made straight for their hives and settled down contentedly again. "Wait until tomorrow," advised the abbot, "but don't say farewell to the bees again. They will be over the parting by then."
Next morning, the boat was again in readiness for Modomnoc and this time he left hurriedly without any fuss of farewell. But when they were about three miles from the shore, he was dismayed to see again the little black cloud rising up over the Welsh coast. Everyone recognised the situation and the sailors turned back to shore immediately.
Once more the shamefaced Modomnoc had to seek out David and tell his story. "What am I to do?" he pleaded. "I must go home. The bees won't let me go without them. I can't deprive you of them. They are so useful to the monastery."
David said, "Modomnoc, I give you the bees. Take them with my blessing. I am sure they would not thrive without you. Take them. We'll get other bees later on for the monastery."
The abbot went down to the boat and told the sailors the same story. "If the bees follow Modomnoc for the third time, take them to Ireland with him and my blessing." But it took a long time and a great deal of talking to get the sailors to agree to this. They did not care who had the bees as long as they weren't in their boat.
The abbot assured the sailors that the bees would give no trouble as long as Modomnoc was onboard. The sailors asked, if that were so, why the bees did not obey Modomnoc's command to return to the monastery. After much back and forth, the sailors were finally persuaded into starting out again.
For the third time the boat set sail, Modomnoc praying hard that the bees would have the sense to stay in their pleasant garden rather than risking their lives at sea. For the third time he saw the little black cloud rising up in the distance, approaching nearer and nearer until he saw it was the same swarm of bees again. It settled on the boat once more. This time it did not turn back. Modomnoc coaxed his faithful friends into a sheltered corner of the boat, where they remained quietly throughout the journey, much to the sailors' relief.
When he landed in Ireland, he set up a church at a place called Bremore, near Balbriggan, in County Dublin, and here he established the bees in a happy garden just like the one they had in Wales. The place is known to this day as "the Church of the Beekeeper."
He became a hermit at Tibberaghny in County Kilkenny and some say he was later consecrated Bishop of Ossory(Benedictines, Curtayne).
Troparion of St Modomnock tone 4 Pomp and splendour held no attraction for thee, O Father Modomnock./ By leaving the glitter of the world, thou didst freely embrace thy poverty with the Waterman,/ praying for the salvation of all faithful souls.
Kontakion of St Modomnock tone 7 Retiring from the company of men,/ thou didst serve God in solitude, O Father Modomnock,/ and thy Father, seeing thy virtue in secret,/ rewarded thee openly./ Therefore we glorify thy name/ and praise and bless thy righteous memory.
Móibhí, Teacher. 545.
Móibhí's name has a special association with Glasnevin, Dublin. Here he founded a monastery. Among his pupils was the great St Columba. Today the College of St Móibhí (Coláiste Móibhí) prepares candidate-teachers for entrance to the Church of Ireland College of Education.
St. Momble of Lagny,
(Mummolus (Mumbolus, Momleolus)
Feastday: November 18
Died c. 690. The Irish monk Saint Mummolus was a companion of Saint Fursey (f.d. January 16), whom he succeeded as abbot of Lagny, in the diocese of Meaux. But he did not remain in that position long because too many of his monks thought that his rule was too strict. So Mummolus retired to a hermitage where he lived out his days in secluded prayer. His relics were translated and solemnly enshrined in 831 in the diocese of Meaux (Benedictines, D'Arcy, Fitzpatrick, Gougaud, Montague,
St.Monessa of Ireland, Virgin
Feastday: September 4
Died 456. According to tradition, Saint Monessa was the daughter of an Irish chieftain who was baptized by Saint Patrick. Immediately after rising from the water, she died in a state of grace. Nothing else is known about her (Benedictines, Encyclopaedia, Montague).
Moninne of Killeavy, Armagh diocese. 518
Moninne, sometimes called Darerca or Bline, founded a small monastery for women (eight virgins and one widow, according to one tradition). She continued in Killeavy, not far from Newry, the spirit of the teaching and pastoral concern of Patrick and Brigid.
d. 7th century Feastday: June 8
Irish confessor. He is noted for writing the lives of St. Brigid and Patrick. In some lists he is called Maccutinus.
St. Mun of Lough Ree,
Feastday: February 6
5th century. Described as another nephew of Saint Patrick, who consecrated him bishop of what is now County Longford. He ended his days as a hermit on an island in Lough Ree (Benedictines).
Munchin, abbot, Limerick diocese, 7th century
Munchin, affectionately known as "the wise" is honoured in Limerick and is called that city's patron. St Munchin is the patron of the Diocese of Limerick and his feastday is celebrated on January 3rd. He founded a church called Cill Mainchín on Inis Sibhton. Details about the life of St Munchin are shrouded in legends but it is believed that he lived in the second half of the 7th century.
The legends about St Munchin give two versions of his background. One of the legends states that Munchin was a nephew of Bloid, who was also the King of Thomond. Bloid was a disciple of St Patrick. The other legend concerning Munchin's background states that he was one of three sons of Setna who came from the present day area of County Clare around Lahinch and Ennistymon. It is also believed that Munchin's brother Ainlid ruled during the late 7th century.
There is also a legend about the building of Munchin's first church in Limerick. While he was building the church, the locals refused to help Munchin. As a result, Munchin placed a curse on the city that the stranger would flourish and the native would perish.
St. Mura McFeredach
d.c. 645 Feastday: March 12
Irish abbot and disciple of St. Columba. He was named abbot of Fahan and is patron saint of Fahan in County Derry. Also called Muran and Murames, he is remembered by one of his crosses that remains standing at Fahan.
d. 6th century Feastday: August 12
Bishop of Killala, Ireland, appointed by St. Patrick. Also called Muredach, he was a member of the royal family of King Laoghaire. Murtagh reportedly met with St. Columba at Ballsodare, near Sligo, in 575. He died as a hermit on Inismurray island.