St. Gall, missionary Down diocese. 630
Feastday: October 16

St Gall came from Leinster to Bangor in county Down to be trained in the monastery there by Comgall. He set off for Europe as a missionary with St Columbanus and others in 589. Although he did not found the St Gall monastery in Switzerland which bears his name and is a famous reminder of his Christian evangelising, his gentle life of holiness made a deep impression both in France and Switzerland.

St. Garbhan, Abbot
Feastday: March 26

7th century. The Irish Saint Garbhan appears to have left his name to Dungarvan. Nothing certain is known about him (Benedictines).

St. Garbhan - from another source
James Kelly N.T. (former teacher in Caroreigh School) and Rev. Joseph Ranson

Garbhan was a nephew of St Finian of Clonard and his feast day is commemorated in the Irish Martyrologies on 26th March. St. Finian was baptised by St. Abban, who had a religious house at Camross.

Garbhan was abbot of Aghoule or Aghold in the Diocese of Leighlin and Co. Wicklow. It is situated about 8 miles due north of Newtownbarry. Aghoule was founded by St. Finian. There was a strong bond of friendship between Abban and Finian during Abban's life; and we may presume that the friendship between the two great founders was maintained for some time by their respective establishments.

Garbhan's family, like his uncles, came from the Barony of Forth, Co. Carlow and it is not unlikely that Garbhan received his early education in one of Abban's establishments. As a matter of fact there were no other religious houses in Hy Kinsellagh at the time, with the exception of Begerin - and Abban would be associated with Begerin as it had been founded by his uncle, St Ibar. Taghmon would scarcely have been founded when Garbhan was born. If Garbhan was educated at one of Abban's foundation in South Hy Kinsellagh, it would not be unnatural to expect to find a cell (Ceall; cill; kil) belonging to Garbhan himself in south Hy Kinsellagh. The suggestion that he was educated in South Hy Kinsellagh is only a supposition but it is a likely hypothesis, in view of the relationship existing between the religious houses and families already shown; and it is on that hypothesis is built the supposition that Garbhan had a church in South Hy Kinnsellagh. (This is the first argument to establish that Garbhan of Aghoule nephew of Finian of Clonard was the local Garbhan).

Second Argument in favour of same.
We have a stronger argument by which we can claim Garbhan of Aghoule (26th March) as the patron of Kilgarvan, Co. Wexford. There are five Garbhans of whom we have accounts in the Martyrologies and lives of the Irish saints.

(1) Garbhan 14th May - of the race of Cathaor Mor. His church was at Clonshambo, parish of Kilcock, Co. Kildare.

(2) Garbhan 9th July - a priest. His church was at Kinsaley, Co. Dublin. He was a friend and contemporary of St. Kevin, Glendalough who died 618 A.D.

(3) Garbhan 21st Nov. - a bishop of the race of Niall of the nine hostages.

(4) Garbhan - a disciple of St. Barra of Cork at Gouganebarra.

(5) Garbhan 26th March- 'Of Kilgarvan near Aghoule' son of Rignach, who was the sister of St. Finian of Clonard, of the race of Cealtchair Muic Utheachair. The operative word here is 'near' Aghoule.

There are other Kilgarvans in Ireland but they are in Co. Cork, Kerry, Mayo, Donegal and Westmeath. The only Kilgarvan near Aghoule is in Co. Wexford; they were in the same tribal territory, namely Hy Kinsellagh.

The references for Garbhan, 26th March, are the Martyrologies of Tallagh (Ed. Lawlor & Best) and Marianus O'Gorman at that date. 'The Lives of the Saints' from the Book of Lismore, (Ed. Stokes, Pg. 345)

The following quotation is from the Book of Leinster: 'Rignach, sister of Finian, mother of Fintan of Fochaillech (18th July) and of Mo Colmoc of Clonard (Co. Meath), 9th February - and of Garbhan of Cell Garbhain near Achad Aball' (Aghoule) 26th March. The Martyrology of Donegal says that Garbhan of Kilgarvan was abbot of Aghoule.

(1) None of the Garbhans listed had any association with Hy Kinsellagh except Garbhan of Aghoule.

(2) He had a church dedicated to him near the latter place, and as the only Kilgarvan near Aghoule is Kilgarvan, Co. Wexford, we may conclude that Kilgarvan, Co. Wexford was the foundation of Garbhan of Aghoule, nephew of Finian.

Garbhan would have been born about 580 and would be 'flourishing' (floreat) 630 A.D. This date would tally with the known date of his brother Mo Colmoc of Clonard, who died 652 A.D. (Mart: Gorman Index, 8th February)

Near Kilgarvan is Assagart founded by Mo Shoccru, Abbot of Clonenagh - Leinster -and of Tech - Socru (Saggart, Co. Dublin) Assagart appears as 'Ardsagart' in Petty's Down Survey Map. Mo Shoccru's feast day is 3rd March.

The following is a tracing of Kilgarvan parish boundaries from Petty's barony map 1655-59:
Clanmore = Glenour (?) Ardsagard = Assagart
Ballydemoch = Ballyclemock(?), Rathquile = Rathkyle
Concourse = Camross; Misting = Misterin; Tomgarran = Tomgarrow.

(This article was researched by Rev. Fr. Joseph Ranson, late Administrator, Enniscorthy and local historian and scholar of renown at the request of the late James Kelly former principal of Caroreigh National School in the 1960s. This school was rededicated in 1999 and henceforth known as St. Garbhan's School, Caroreigh).


St. Gerebernus (Gereborn, Gerebrand, Genebrard), Martyr
Feastday: May 15

7th century. As an aged Irish priest Gerebernus accompanied Saint Dympna (f.d. today), whom he had baptized in her infancy, to Belgium and shared in her martyrdom at Gheel. He is the patron saint of the village of Sonsbeck (Santbeck), Cleves, in the Rhineland, Germany, where his relics are enshrined, except for his head, which is in Gheel. Curiously, he was the subject of "holy robbers of Xanten" who specialised in stealing holy relics, although they were unable to remove those of Dympna. His intercession is sought against gout and fever (Benedictines, D'Arcy, Husenbeth).

St.Gibrian, Hermit in Ireland
Feastday: May 8

Died c. 515. The Irish hermit Saint Gibrian was the eldest of nine (or eight) siblings, all of whom migrated to Brittany where they became saints. They include his brothers Tressan (Trasain, a priest), Helan(us) (priest), Germanus, Abran (seems to be Gibrian himself), Petran, and sisters Franca, Promptia, Possenna. Gibrian laboured near Rheims and was buried at a place now called after him Saint Gibrian. His cultus spread because of the many miracles reported at his tomb, especially the healing of blindness. His relics were translated to the basilica of Saint Remigius in Rheims (Benedictines, Montague).

St. Gobnata (Gobnet, Gobnait) of Ballyvourney, Virgin
Feastday: February 11

6th century One of the most popular of the saints of Munster, she was born in County Clare but had to flee from enemies and took refuge in the Isle of Aran, where there is a church at Inisheer, Kilgobnet, Gobnat's church. After a time an angel appeared and told her that this was not to be "the place of her resurrection" but she must make a journey until she came upon nine white deer and this would be the sign for her to settle and build a monastery.

So she set out to search for the spot that God had chosen for her and she founded churches on the way, among them Dunguin in County Kerry and Dungarven in County Waterford. It was in County Cork that she saw three white deer near Cloudrohid; then at Ballymakeera she saw six and going further she arrived at Ballyvourney and found nine grazing near a wood. There she founded her monastery.

Saint Abban of Kilabban, County Meath, Ireland, is said to have worked with her on the foundation of the convent in Ballyvourney, County Cork, on land donated by the O'Herlihy family, and to have placed Saint Gobnat over it as abbess.

St Gobnat had a particular calling to care for the sick and she is credited with saving the people at Ballyvourney from the plague. She is also regarded as the Patroness of bees. Gobnata (meaning "Honey Bee", which is the equivalent of the Hebrew "Deborah") Of course honey is a useful ingredient in many medicines but she is said to have driven off a brigand by sending a swarm of bees after him and making him restore the cattle he had stolen. In fact she seems to have been very able in dealing with brigands. Set in the wall of the ruined church at Ballyvourney there is a round stone, which she is said to have used as a sort of boomerang to prevent the building of a castle by another brigand on the other side of the valley from her monastery. Every time he began building she sent the stone across and knocked down the walls, as fast as he could build, until he gave up in despair.

There is a field near to the village called the Plague Field commemorating the area she marked out as consecrated ground, across which the plague could not pass. The "Tomhas Ghobnata", which is the Gaelic for Gobnat's measure, a length of wool measured against her statue, is still in demand for healing, and in the church a much worn wooden statue of the thirteenth century is preserved and shown on her festival. At Killeen there is Gobnat's Stone, an early cross pillar that has a small figure bearing a crozier on one side.

A well still exists at Ballyvourney that is named after her. As with many Irish saints, there are stories of wondrous interactions with nature.

Her grave in the churchyard at Ballyvourney is decorated with crutches and other evidence of cures obtained through Gobnata's intercession. Among the miracles attributed to her intercession were the staying of a pestilence by marking off the parish as sacred ground. Another tradition relates that she routed an enemy by loosing her bees upon them. Her beehive has remained a precious relic of the O'Herlihys.

The round stone associated with her is still preserved. In art, Saint Gobnata is represented as a beekeeper.

Troparion of St Gobnet tone 3 As a spiritual child of the God inspired Abban/ thou didst worthily guide many into monastic virtue, most holy Gobnet./ Wherefore we entreat thee to intercede for us/ that we may be guided aright/ and be found worthy of the great mercy of Christ our God.

Kontakion of St Gobnet tone 5 Praise and honour are thy due/ O physician of bodies and souls,/ most pious Gobnet./ As thou, being blessed with the gift of healing,/ didst bring to many the wholeness and peace of Christ,/ pray now for us that our tormented souls/ may come to know the joy of godly healing.

St. Gormgal (Gormcal), Abbot of Ardoilen

Feastday: August 5


Died 1016. An Irish abbot of the monastery of Ardoilen in Galway (Benedictines).


St. Grimonia (Germana) of Picardy, Virgin & Martyr

Feastday: September 7


4th century (or 560?). Although born of an illustrious Irish family, Saint Grimonia, consecrated herself to God and migrated to Laon,

Picardy. On the spot where she was martyred in defence of her chastity, a chapel was built for her relics. The miracles of healing that occurred there led to pilgrimages and the growth of the town called Capelle. In the wars in the fifteenth century her relics were translated to the abbey of Hennin Lictard, between Douay and Lens where she is honoured together with Saint Proba her fellow martyr (Benedictines, Husenbeth).

St. Gundebert, Martyr
Feastday: April 20

8th century; feast day formerly April 29. According to tradition, Saint Gundebert, brother of Bishop Saint Niard of Rheims, left his monastery in order to migrate to Ireland. He was martyred there by pagan invaders (Benedictines).

St. Hiero (Jeron, Iero, Jerome) of Holland, Martyr

Feastday: August 17


Died 885. The Irish monk and evangelist Hiero was martyred in the Netherlands (Benedictines, Encyclopaedia). In art, Saint Hiero is portrayed as a monk with a hawk and sword (Roeder). He is invoked to find lost articles (Roeder).

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