April (Aibrean) 18
1608 - Sir Cahir O'Doherty of
Inishowen revolts and sacks Derry
1689 - Siege of Derry begins
For more on the siege - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apprentice_Boys_of_Derry
1690 - Five
regiments of Irishmen sail for France and form the nucleus of France's Irish
For more on the Wild Geese - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_of_the_Wild_Geese
1768 - Daniel Murray, Archbishop of Dublin, is born in Arklow, Co. Wicklow
1778 - William Bunbury, MP for Co. Carlow, dies after being thrown from his horse
1792 - Langrishe's Catholic Relief Act allows Catholics to practise law, and Protestants and Catholics to intermarry
1802 - Robert Patterson, naturalist, is born in Belfast
1817 - Michael Roberts, Irish mathematician and author of the theory of invariants, covariants and hypereliptic functions, is born in Cork
Birth in Dublin of Robert
Tressell, born Noonan, author of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists
Cecil Thurston,née Madden, is born in Cork
1876 - Daniel O'Leary completes a 500 mile walk in 139 hours 32 minutes
Birth of John Kilbane,
US, featherweight boxing champion (1912-23) *
1899 - John McGraw, at 36, managerial debut as Oriole manager
1930 - Victor Conlon, Irish activist, is born
1949 - The Republic of Ireland withdraws from the British Commonwealth. The British Parliament recognizes the declaration but asserts sovereignty over the six northern counties. Ireland does not recognize the claim
*See the Irish and Irish American boxer link on the Sports page of www.aoh61.com for more info.
Laserian (Laisren, Molaisse, Lamliss) of Leighlin, Bishop
Born in Ireland; died April 18, c. 639. Probably identical to Saint Lamliss (f.d. March 3), Saint Laserian was the grandson of King Aidan of
Scotland, nephew of Saint Blane (f.d. August 11), and son of Cairel and Blitha. This noble Ulster couple entrusted the education of their
precious son to Saint Murin at Iona. The Celtic prefix of endearment makes his name Molaise, and in Scotland it is so accentuated that he is
usually known as Molios.
He is said
to have travelled to Rome, where he was ordained to the priesthood by Saint
Gregory the Great (f.d. September 3). Returning to
Ireland, he brought with him a new version of the Holy Scriptures, and the rules by which the Roman Church fixed the date of Easter.
near Saint Goban's (f.d. May 23) abbey of in Carlow, built a cell, and gathered
disciples around himself. He succeeded Goban as abbot of the monastery of
Leighlin and is said to have founded
Inishmurray in County Sligo.
national synod in March 630, held in the White Fields (Synod of Magh Ailbhe)
he, Cummian of Clonfert (f.d. November 12), and others
advocated abandoning the Irish method of calculating Easter in deference to the Nicene formulation. Because of the opposition to the change
offered by such luminaries as Saint Munnu (f.d. October 21), a delegation with Laserian at its head was sent to Rome to investigate the
question more fully.
As a result
of the delegation's report, all of Ireland, except Columba's monasteries,
adopted the new reckoning for Easter in 633. The final
decision in favour of the Nicene reckoning in England was made at the Council of Whitby some thirty years later.
additional outcome was Laserian's consecration as bishop (either without a
particular see or of Leighlin--this is disputed) and
appointment by Pope Honorius I as apostolic legate to Ireland.
returned to Ireland with the relics of Saint Aidan of Ferns (f.d. January 31).
In the 11th century an intricately
wrought shrine with blue glass insets and parti-coloured enamel work was designed for the relics. Stokes details the beauty of the surviving
portions of the piece which now resides in the National Museum. "Of an original 21 saints arranged in three rows, eleven figures and three
pairs of feet survive. Three nuns in uniform habits with their hair hanging in long curls. Eight male figures are in varied dress and
various postures, one with a sword, one 'standing in sorrow his cheek resting in his hand.'"
him is strongest on Inishmurray, where there are notable monastic ruins and a
series of praying-stations. He is
also venerated in Scotland, where a cave hermitage bearing his name survives on Holy Island in Lamlash Bay, off Arran.
Leighlin, there is still his well and S. Laserian's Cross, but these are the
only remains of his monastery. On Holy Island, in Lamlash
Bay, at Arran, there is a cave believed to be the saint's retreat and marked with many pilgrims' crosses
(Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, D'Arcy, Farmer, Husenbeth, Kenney, Montague, Muirhead, Porter, Stokes).
Cogitosus of Kildare
8th century. Saint Cogitosus may have been a monk at Kildare, Ireland. Traditionally, he is named as the author of the life of Saint Brigid
(f.d. February 1), which provides the legends and miracles of Bride. The work details the monastic life at Kildare and description of the
church during his life, including the separate accommodation made in the church for monks and nuns.
expounded the metrical life of St. Brigid, and versified it in good Latin. This
is what is known as the "Second Life", and is an
excellent example of Irish scholarship in the mid-eighth century.
Irishman, an author, and a monk of Kildare; the date and place of his birth and
of his death are unknown, it is uncertain even in what century
he lived. In the one work which he wrote, his life of St. Brigid, he asks a prayer "pro me nepote culpabili," from which both Ware and Ussher
conclude that he was a nephew of St. Brigid, and, accordingly, he is put down by them among the writers of the sixth century. But the word nepos
may also be applied to one who, like the prodigal, had lived riotously, and it may be, that Cogitosus, recalling some former lapses from virtue,
so uses the word of himself. At all events, his editor, Vossius, is quite satisfied that Cogitosus was no nephew of St. Brigid, because in
two genealogical menologies which Vossius had, in which were enumerated the names of fourteen holy men of that saint's family the name of
Cogitosus is not to be found.
Cogitosus live in the sixth century because he speaks of a long succession of
bishops and abbesses at Kildare, showing that he writes of
a period long after the time of St. Brigid, who died in 525, and of St. Conleth, who died a few years earlier. Besides this, the description of
the church of Kildare belongs to a much later time; and the author calls St. Conleth an archbishop, a term not usual in the Western church until
the opening of the ninth century. On the other hand, he describes Kildare before it was plundered by the Danes, in 835, and before St.
Brigades remains were removed to Down.
probability therefore is that he lived and wrote the life of St. Brigid about
the beginning of the ninth century. His work is a
panegyric rather than a biography. He gives so few details of the saint's life that he omits the date and place of her birth and the date
of her death; nor does he make mention of any of her contemporaries if we except St. Conleth, the first Bishop of Kildare, an Macaille from
whom she received the veil. He gives the names of her parents, but is careful to conceal the fact that she was illegitimate, and that her
mother was a slave. On the other hand, he dwells with evident satisfaction on her piety, her humility, her charity, her zeal for
religion, the esteem in which she was held by all. And he narrates at length the many miracles she wrought, and tells of the numbers who came
as pilgrims to Kildare, attracted by her fame. In his anxiety to exalt her he says she had as abbess authority over all the abbesses of
Ireland, although as a matter of fact she could govern only those who followed her rule; and his statement that she appointed the Bishop of
Kildare could not, of course, mean that she conferred any jurisdiction.
Ss. Bitheus and Genocus
6th century. The British monks Bitheus and Genocus accompanied Saint Finnian of Clonard (f.d. December 12) to Ireland, where they gained a
reputation for sanctity (Benedictines).