St. Fachtna (or Fachanan) bishop. Ross diocese. 6th century.
August 14

Fachtna was described as being "a wise and upright man" and one with a great gift for preaching. He was the founder of the community of Rosscarbery in West Cork.

St. Failbhe of Iona, Abbot Feastday March 21
Born in Ireland; died c. 680. Saint Failbhe, abbot of Iona and brother of Saint Finan of Rath, is one of about 20 saints of the same name commemorated in Irish and Scottish menologies (Benedictines).

St. Fanchea (Fainche, Garbh) of Rossory, Virgin
Died c. 585. Many amazing stories are related about her in the life of Saint Enda, who is generally regarded as the father of Irish monasticism. Fanchea was an early nun with special capabilities as a directress of souls. She is said to be a native of Clogher, who persuaded her brother, Saint Enda, to become a monk. She was the abbess-founder of a convent at Rossory, Fermanagh, and was buried at Killane (Benedictines, Encyclopaedia, Montague).

St. Farannan, Abbot
Feastday: February 15

Died c. 590. The Irish Saint Farannan was a disciple of Saint Columba. He eventually returned to Ireland to lead an eremitical life at All-Farannan, now Allernan, Sligo, where he probably died (Benedictines).

St. Felim, Kilmore diocese. circa 560
August 9

Felim (spelt Fedilmith in Adomnán's life of Columba) was the father of Columba (Colmcille), according to tradition. The abbey on Trinity Island in Lough Oughter, not far from the diocesan cathedral, recalls the early days of Christianity in Cavan and the neighbourhood. A later Norman doorway from the island is now incorporated in the present cathedral. William Bedell, the much honoured 17th century bishop of Kilmore, is remembered for his saintly life and his work of translating the scriptures into the Irish language.

St. Fergna (Ferona) the White, Abbot
Feastday: March 2

Died 637. Fergna was a kinsman and disciple of St. Columba (f.d.June 9), whom he succeeded as abbot of Iona (Benedictines,Encyclopaedia).

St. Fergus (Fergustus, Ferguisius) of Downpatrick, Bishop
Feastday: March 30

6th century. Not much is known with certainly about this bishop of Downpatrick, Ireland. He may be identical to Saint Fergus of Scotland (f.d. November 18) (Benedictines).

St. Fiachan (Fiachina, Fianchne) of Lismore
Feastday: April 29

Born in Desies, Munster, Ireland; 7th century. An Irish monk of Lismore, whose sterling quality was obedience, Saint Fiachan was the disciple of Saint Carthage the Younger (f.d. May 14). He is titular saint of the parish of Kill-Fiachna, in the diocese of Ardfert (Benedictines, Encyclopaedia, Husenbeth).

St. Fiacre

Feast Day: 1 SEPTEMBER

St. Fiacre (Fiachra) is not mentioned in the earlier Irish calendars, but it is said that he was born in Ireland and that he sailed over into France in quest of closer solitude, in which he might devote himself to God, unknown to the world. He arrived at Meaux, where
Saint Faro, who was the bishop of that city, gave him a solitary dwelling in a forest which was his own patrimony, called Breuil, in the province of Brie. There is a legend that St. Faro offered him as much land as he could turn up in a day, and that St. Fiacre, instead of driving his furrow with a plough, turned the top of the soil with the point of his staff. The anchorite cleared the ground of trees and briers, made himself a cell with a garden, built an oratory in honor of the Blessed Virgin, and made a hospice for travelers which developed into the village of Saint-Fiacre in Seine-et-Marne.

Many resorted to him for advice, and the poor, for relief. His charity moved him to attend cheerfully those that came to consult him; and in his hospice he entertained all comers, serving them with his own hands, and sometimes miraculously restored to health those that were sick. Saint-Fiacre is invoked against all sorts of physical ills, including venereal disease. He is also a patron saint of gardeners and of cab-drivers of Paris.

St. Fiech (Fiacc), Bishop of Sletty in Ireland,

Friend of Saint Patrick

Feastday: October 12

From the Thesaurus Paleohibernicus:

Now St. Fiacc was the son of Mac Ercae, son of Bregan, son of Daire

Barraig, (from whom are the Hy-Barrchi), son of Cathair Mor. Moreover

that Fiacc was a pupil of Dubthach macCu-Lugair, who was chief poet of

Ireland. In the time of Logaire, son of Niall, it was made. And that is

the Dubthach who arose before Patrick in Tara, after Logaire had said

that no one would rise before him in the house. And he was a friend of

Patrick thenceforward, and he was baptized by Patrick afterwards. Now

Patrick once went to that Dubthach's house in Leinster. Then Dubthach

gave great welcome to Patrick. Patrick said to Dubthach: 'Seek for me',

said he, 'a man of rank, of good family and of good character, with only

one wife and child.' 'Why seekest thou that?' (to wit a man of that

kind)?', said Dubthach. 'That he might be ordained', said Patrick.

'Fiacc is the man', said Dubthach, 'and he has gone on circuit in

Connacht.' [note: Fiacc was 'on tour' as a bard.] Now when they were

thus talking, then came Fiacc and his circuit with him. 'There is the

man whom we have been speaking of', said Dubthach. 'Though it be', says

Patrick, 'peradventure that of which we have spoken may not be pleasing

to him.' 'Let an essay be made to tonsure me', said Dubthach, 'so that

Fiacc may see.' When Fiacc, then saw that, he asked: 'What is essayed'

said he. 'The

tonsuring of Dubthach', [note: The tonsure was not monastic; the canons

of St. Patrick state that Priests must go about tonsured and their wives

must have their heads covered.] They said. 'That is idle , said he, 'for

there is not in Ireland a poet his equal.' 'Thou wouldst be taken in his

stead', said Patrick. 'My loss to Ireland is less than that of

Dubthach', said Fiacc.


Patrick, then, took off Fiacc's beard, and thereafter great grace came

upon him, and he read all the ecclesiastical order in one night, not

fifteen days as others do. A bishop's rank was conferred on him, and he

is the chief bishop of Leinster thenceforth, and his coarb after him.




According to Muirchu's Life of Patrick (see e. g. The Patrician Texts in

the Book of Armagh ed. L. Bieler or J. Hood St Patrick's Confession and

Muirchu's Life):


Bishop Fiacc of Sletty was a bardic apprentice of the chief poet of

Leinster, Dubtach, who was the first to rise to greet Patrick when he

came to the court of the king of Tara. Patrick offered to make Dubtach

himself first bishop of Sletty, but Dubtach offered his pupil Fiacc

instead. Hence Fiacc's ability to write hymns in honour of Patrick. His

successor as Bishop of Sletty, Aed, in the late seventh century was

responsible for commissioning Muirchu's Life of Patrick.




>From the 1913 edition of the Catholic Encyclopaedia:


(Lived about 415-520.) A poet, chief bishop of Leinster, and founder of

two churches. His father, MacDara, was prince of the Hy-Bairrche in the

country around Carlow. His mother was sister of Dubhtach, the chief bard

and brehon of Erin, the first of Patrick's converts at Tara, and the

apostle's lifelong friend. Fiacc was a pupil to his uncle in the bardic

profession and soon embraced the Faith. Subsequently, when Patrick came

to Leinster, he sojourned at Dubhtach's house in Hy-Kinsellagh and

selected Fiacc, on Dubhtach's recommendation, to be consecrated bishop

for the converts of Leinster. Fiacc was then a widower; his wife had

recently died, leaving him one son named Fiacre. Patrick gave him an

alphabet written with his own hand, and Fiacc acquired with marvellous

rapidity the learning necessary for the episcopal order. Patrick

consecrated him, and in after time appointed him chief bishop of the

province. Fiacc founded the church of Domnach-Fiech, east of the Barrow.

Dr. Healy identifies its site at Kylebeg. To this church Patrick

presented sacred vestments, a bell, the Pauline Epistles and pastoral

staff. After many years of austere life in this place, Fiacc was led by

angelic command to remove to the west of the Barrow, for there he would

find the place of his resurrection". Tradition tells that he was

directed to build his oratory where he should meet a hind, his refectory

where he should find a boar. He consulted Patrick, the latter fixed the

site of his new church at Sletty--"the highland"--a mile and a half

northwest of Carlow. Here while built a large monastery, which he ruled

as abbot while at the same time he governed the surrounding country as

bishop. His annual Lenten retreat to the cave of Drum-Coblai

and the rigors of his Lenten fast, on five barley loaves mixed with

ashes, are mentioned in his life by Jocelyn of Furness. He suffered for

many years from a painful disease and Patrick, commiserating his

infirmity, sent him a chariot and a pair of horses to help him in the

visitation of the diocese. He lived to a very old age; sixty of his

pious disciples were gathered to their rest before him.


His festival has been always observed on the 12th of October. He was

buried in his own church at Sletty, his son Fiacre, whom Patrick had

ordained priest, occupying the same grave. They are mentioned in several

calendars as jointly revered in certain churches.


St. Fiacc is the reputed author of the metrical life of St. Patrick in

Irish, a document of undoubted antiquity and of prime importance as the

earliest biography of the saint that has come down to us.


"The Hymn of Fiacc is one of the few accepted primary sources for the life of St. Patrick other than his own writings.

Although its exact date of composition is disputed, there is no question that it is extremely ancient, a document of the Celtic Church before the Viking invasions. Tradition ascribes it to the fifth century bard Fiacc, who also figures as a character in some of the legends told about Patrick; modern scholars generally think it was composed later, in the seventh or possibly even the eighth century. -- N. Redington."


Fin Barre, First Bishop of Cork, and Confessor, Cork diocese. 623
(Barrus, Barry, Barrocus, Lochann)

Finbarr=Barr the White

Feastday: September 25

From his hermitage at Gougane Barra in west Cork, he travelled down the river Lee to found his school and monastery among the "marshes" of what is now Cork city. In his lifetime he was honoured as a teacher and described as "this loving man, Barre of Cork".

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.

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 truth.


St. Finan (Finnian) Cam of Kinnitty, Abbot
Feastday: April 7

Born in Munster in the 6th century. Saint Finan was a disciple of Saint Brendan (f.d. May 16), at whose wish he founded and governed a monastery at Kinnitty (Cean-e-thich) in Offaly of which he is the patron (Benedictines, Farmer, Husenbeth).

St. Finan of Iona, Bishop
Feastday: February 17

Died 661. Finan was an Irishman, who became a monk at St. Columba's monastery at Iona, and was renowned for his holy life and discipline. When Aidan died and the monks of Lindisfarne sent to his old abbey for one to replace him, the choice fell on Finan as a worthy successor.

His ten years as Bishop of Northumbria was a more peaceful episcopate that Aidan's. King Oswy was brought to realise his sin in the murder of Oswin, the King of Deira, whose kingdom he had annexed, and Finan encouraged him to found monasteries and churches as tokens of his repentance. The most famous of these was at Streaneshalch on the promontory above the harbour now known as Whitby, which was to become a great Christian centre.

He received and baptised two further kings of the Saxon heptarchy, Sigbert of the East Saxons and Peada of Mercia, and sent missionaries to their respective kingdoms to establish the Faith in them. He withdrew St.Cedd from his labours in the midlands and consecrated him to be bishop of the East Saxons, and he made Diuma, an Irish monk, bishop for the Mercians.

Finan, in addition to his supervision of the vast diocese of Northumbria, which stretched into southern Scotland, encouraged building works in the monastery at Lindisfarne. He constructed a spacious cathedral church on the Celtic pattern, made with wood and covered with the rough sea-grass called bent, which grows prolifically on the island, binding the sand with its roots. Into his church he translated the body of his predecessor, St.Aidan, and when he died in 661 his body was laid to rest by the side of the first bishop. (Baring-Gould, Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer).

Troparion of St Finan tone 2 As Aidan's successor thou didst rule the See of Lindisfarne fearlessly/ preaching the Orthodox Faith, O holy Hierarch Finan./ Boldly obeying the Gospel command, thou didst soften the stony heart of Mercia's pagan Prince Peada/ and win his soul for Christ./ Pray for us, 0 Saint, that Christ alone will rule in our hearts,/ that He may save our souls.

St. Fingen of Metz, Abbot
Feastday: February 5

Died c. 1005. Saint Fingen, a celebrated Irish abbot, migrated to the kingdom of Lothaire, where he acquired a reputation for restoring old monasteries. One of them, Saint Symphorien's, was given over to him about 991 by Bishop Saint Adalbero (f.d. December 15) and an Irish community. At the insistence of the dowager Empress Saint Adelaide (f.d. December 16), Pope John XVII issued a charter that declared that only Irish monks would administer the abbey as long as they could be found. She obtained a similar charter from Otto III in 992.

Fingen's final work, with the help of seven of his Irish monks, was the restoration of Saint-Vannes in Verdun. By 1001, Saint-Vannes was attracting distinguished applicants, such as Blessed Frederick of Arras (f.d. January 6), count of Verdun, and his friend Blessed Richard (f.d. June 14), dean of the diocese of Rheims, who later became abbot of Saint-Vannes. Fingen's relics can be found in Saint-Clement's Church in Metz, where the necrology highly praises him (D'Arcy, Fitzpatrick2, Gougaud, Kenney, Montague, O'Hanlon, Tommasini).

St. Finnian

Feast Day: 1 SEPTEMBER

Finnian of Clonard is generally regarded as the father of Irish monasticism. He was born in Co. Meath towards the end of the fifth century and it is said that all the birds of Ireland gathered as a portent of the holy life he would lead. As a young man he founded three churches in Ireland before being attracted to monastic life in Wales. He studied under Saint Cadoc at Llancarfan, Glamorganshire, and was much influenced by Cadoc's pupil Gildas, who was critical of the worldliness and wealth of British bishops. 

Finnian became convinced that the ascetic life offered the best way of consecrating one's life to God. It was a belief well-suited to Ireland, with its population dispersed in small rural kingdoms. Finnian's first monastery was at Aghowle, Co. Wicklow, but he settled c. 520 at Clonard, Co. Meath, on the River Boyne. Clonard becarne the most famous monastic school of the sixth century, its importance derived from the number of disciples who left to found other monasteries. Finnian's most prominent pupils have been called the twelve apostles of Ireland. The saint died of plague c. 549, but the monastery at Clonard survived until the sixteenth century. 

St. Finnian of Moville in the Ards. Down diocese. 579.
September 10

Finnian was educated at the abbey of Nendrum on Mahee island on Strangford Lough. After spending twenty years in Scotland as student and missionary he came to Movilla (5 miles from Bangor) to found his monastery. There is a tradition that the Psalter, called the Cathach ("the battle-book"), now in the Royal Irish Academy, was one of Finnian's books. Some scholars say that Finnian introduced to Ireland its first copy of Jerome's Vulgate version of the scriptures. Several Finnians are associated with the famous story of Columba's secret copying of the manuscript without permission; the king's judgment against Columba was supposed to have led to his exile in Iona.

St. Finian of Magh Bile (Moville), County Down (Another version)

Born about 495; died 589. Though not so celebrated as his namesake of Clonard, he was the founder of a famous school about the year 540. He studied under St. Colman of Dromore and St. Mochae of Noendrum (Mahee Island), and subsequently at Candida Casa (Whithern), whence he proceeded to Rome, returning to Ireland in 540 AD with an integral copy of St. Jerome's Vulgate, a work of translation which Jerome had completed in 404 AD**.

St. Finnian's most distinguished pupil at Moville (County Down) was St. Columba, whose surreptitious copying of the Psaltery led to a very remarkable sequel. What remains of the copy, together with the casket that contains it, is now in the National Museum, Dublin. It is known as the Cathach or Battler, and was wont to be carried by the O'Donnells in battle. The inner case was made by Cathbar O'Donnell in 1084, but the outer is fourteenth-century work. So prized was it that family of MacGroarty were hereditary custodians of this Cathach, and it finally passed, in 1802, to Sir Neal O'Donnell, County Mayo.

St. Finnian of Moville wrote a rule for his monks, also a penitential code, the canons of which were published by Wasserschleben in 1851. His festival is observed on 10 September.

St Fintan of Rheinhau
Feastday: 15 November

St Fintan of Rheinhau. Hermit. Born in Leinster, in the 9th century, St Fintan was captured and made a slave by Vikings who took him to the Orkneys. Fintan escaped and was protected by a Scottish bishop whose name has been lost.

St. Flannan, Killaloe diocese. 640.
December 18

St Flannan's Day is also celebrated in Scotland. He is one of the many travelling Irish saints, who embarked on long journeys, often by water as well as overland, partly as missionaries but also as pilgrims, making a spiritual "peregrination" to witness on the way for Christ. Flannan succeeded Mo-Lua who founded Killaloe cathedral on the Shannon. St Flannan's oratory beside the cathedral is an impressive example of early Irish architecture. Its large size and sound stone construction have been widely admired.

St. Foila (Faile) of Galway, Virgin 6th century. Feastday March 2

St. Foila is said to have been the sister of St. Colgan (f.d. February 20). The two were patrons of the parishes of Kil-Faile(Kileely) and Kil-Colgan in Galway. Kil-Faile has been a noted place of pilgrimage (Benedictines).

St. Forannan, Abbot
Feastday: April 30

Died 982. A bishop, Saint Forannan left Ireland to join a community at the abbey of Waulsort on the Meuse and in 962 became its abbot. He spent some times at Gorze studying the monastic observance established by Saint John in order to introduce it at Waulsort, which he did most successfully (Benedictines, Encyclopaedia).

St. Fursey

Son of an Irish prince, Fursey became abbot of a monastery in Tuam, Co. Galway, but it was as a missionary in England and France that he achieved a European fame overshadowed only by Columbanus. He was welcomed to East Anglia c. 630 by King Sigebert, who granted land for a monastery at Burgh Castle in Suffolk. Becoming ill, Fursey fell into a trance and, according to Saint Bede the historian, quit his body from evening till cock-crow and was found worthy to behold the chorus of angels in Heaven. Fursey's
visions of Heaven and Hell, experienced throughout his life and widely recounted, are thought to have inspired Dante's Divine Comedy. 

After some years in East Anglia, Fursey set out on a pilgrimage to Rome. He was well-received by Clovis, king of the Franks, whose palace mayor, Erconwald, persuaded the saint to build a monastery at Lagny, outside Paris. Fursey died c. 648 at Mazerolles, where
he had once miraculously restored a nobleman's son to life. Erconwald had the body brought to Péronne in Picardy, where it awaited entombment while a new church was built. Four years later, when the body was buried near the altar, it was found to be completely free from decomposition.