St. Paternus of
Feastday: April 10
Born in Ireland; died in Germany, 1058. Paternus was probably born in Ireland, but he travelled to Westphalia, and became one of the first monks at the monastery of Abdinghof in Paderborn founded by Saint Meinwerk (f.d. June 5). Wishing for solitude, he moved to a cell adjoining the abbey.
He predicted that the city would be razed by fire within 30 days if the inhabitants did not turn from their sins, but he was mocked as a visionary. On the Friday before Palm Sunday in 1058, fires broke out simultaneously in seven parts of the city. The city and the monastery were destroyed. The monks escaped, with the exception of Paternus, who, refusing to break the vows of enclosure, remained in his cell and was killed.
His death made a great impression on his contemporaries. The mat on which he died became an important relic because it miraculously escaped the flames (Benedictines, Montague, White).
St. Patrick the Elder (Sen-Patrick), Abbot
Feastday: August 24
Died c. 450. This is another confusing saint with conflicting traditions. He may have been a kinsman and contemporary of Saint
Patrick of Ireland or the abbot of a monastery in Nevers, France (Benedictines).
St. Peregrinus (Pellegrino) of Modena, Hermit
Feastday: August 1
Died 643. Peregrinus (meaning "pilgrim") is believed to have been a Celtic prince and/or monk, who made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. On
his return he settled in the quiet Apennines near Modena, Italy, where he spent the last forty years of his life as a hermit. Saint Pellegrino
in the Italian Alps is named in his memory and was his hermitage. Now one can find a hospice for travellers and the needy on the site
(Benedictines, Encyclopaedia, Husenbeth, Montague).
In art, Saint Peregrinus is depicted as a pilgrim. He may also be shown
(1) holding a thin cross or (2) with a sudarium tied to a staff
(Roeder). He is the patron of Lucca and Modena, Italy, as well as of
St. Phelim, Bishop of Kilmore
(Fedlimud, Felim, Felimy, Fidleminus)
Feastday: August 9
Died 6th century. Saint Phelim is said to have been Saint Dermot's (f.d. January 10) brother and a disciple of Saint Columba (f.d. June 9).
He seems to be the bishop of Cluain (Clunes) near Lough Erne, who was buried near Saint Tigernach (f.d. April 4), the first bishop of that
see. The city of Kilmore (which means 'great church') rose up around the site of his cell. As the principal patron of Kilmore, his feast is
celebrated with solemnity throughout the diocese (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
Troparion of St Phelim Tone 4
Thou wast a jewel in the diadem of spiritual athletes/ as bestowed on
the Bride of Christ by Iona's Monastery, O Hierarch Phelim,/ Wherefore
we pray thee to intercede with Christ our God for us,/ lax and unworthy
as we are,/ that we may be granted great mercy.
Patron Saint of Cornish Tinners
"St Piran is the
most famous of all Irish saints who came to Cornwall - he arrived on a
mill-stone. A gang of heatthen Irishmen had tied him to the stone, rolling it
over the edge of the cliff into a stormy sea, which thereupon was stilled, and
the saint floated calmly
over the water to the sandy beach of Perranzabuloe. There are those who doubt not only the adequacy of his transport, but also whether he ever set foot in Cornwall at all. Yet is not Piran the patron saint of Cornish tinners, said indeed to be the discoverer of tin? Then, Exeter Cathedral was once the fortunate possessor of one of his arms, while according to an inventory of 1281 at St Piran's church itself was a reliquary containing his head and a hearse in which his body was placed (for processions), as well as such trifles as a tooth of St Bredanus and another of St Martin. And they were still there in 1433, when Sir John Arundell left 4os to enclose the head of the saint in the best and most honourable way they could. But more convincing than any record of relics are the ruins of the forlorn little oratory half buried in the water of shifting towans of Penhale Sands. There is nothing to prove that it was built by Piran, but it is sixth- to eighth-century work in the manner of the Celtic chapels of Ireland, and the earliest church, unless the remains of St Elidius on Scilly are older, not only in Cornwall but in the whole south-west of England."
--from: A History of Cornwall, by F.E.. Haalliday, second edition 1975,
The Garden City Press Ltd, Letchworth, Hertfordshire, ISBN 0 7156 0162 8
The internationally-recognised flag of Cornwall, of Cornish tinners, and indeed of tinners at large, is St Piran's flag. The flag features St Piran's white cross. According to legend, tin in the shape of a white cross appeared among the black ash after the smelting process when St Piran was present.
Ss. Probe and
Germaine, Virgin Martyrs
Feastday: April 28
4th century. These two were Irish virgins who refused marriage and were found near Laon, then murdered (Encyclopaedia).
Bl. Ralph Corby
d. 1644 Feastday: September 7
Jesuit martyr of England, also known as Ralph Corbington. Born in Maynooth Ireland, on March 25, 1598, he was trained at St. Omer, France, Seville, and Valladolid, Spain, before receiving ordination. He entered the Jesuits in 1631, and volunteered in 1632 for the dangerous mission in England He was given responsibility for the area around Durham Ralph worked for twelve years before he was arrested near Newcastle with Blessed John Duckett. He was martyred by being hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tybum on September 7. Ralph was beatified in 1929.
St. Richard Fitzralph, Archbishop of Armagh, reformer.
Feastday: June 27
He was popularly known as "St Richard of Dundalk". A learned scholar, at one time Chancellor of Oxford University, he has been affectionately honoured in Dundalk, the place of his birth, for his compassionate and caring nature. Figuring with importance in church history, he was nevertheless deeply concerned for the sufferers during the Black Death among the people of Dundalk and Drogheda and their surroundings. He had an option for poor. This however did not prevent him from criticising the mendicants of the day. Some of his teaching and writing influenced John Wiclif, later providing insights about a Christian stewardship of possessions. Pilgrims who visited his tomb.
St. Rioch of Innisboffin, Abbot
Feastday: August 1
Died c. 480. Saint Rioch is described as the nephew of Saint Patrick (f.d. March 17), the son of Patrick's sister Saint Darerca (f.d. March
22), and brother of Saints Mel, Muinis, and Melchu (f.d. February 6 for all). Rioch was the abbot of Innisboffin in Longford, Ireland
Troparion of St Rioch tone 1
The radiance of thy life and the triumph of thine austerity/ shone forth
from Innisboffin's Monastery, O Father Rioch,/ illuminating the Irish
nation and leading them from the darkness of paganism/ into the light of
true belief./ Wherefore O holy one, intercede with Christ our God/ that
we may be turned from the errors of our day that our souls may be saved.
St. Ronan (Ruadan),
Feastday: November 19 (also 18 November)
St. Ronan, son of Berach, a disciple of the great St. Fechin of Fore. He became first Abbot of Drumshallon, and died 18 November, 665. Saint Ronan is venerated at Canterbury as a bishop, because his arm is enshrined there. His identity is obscure (Farmer).
St. Ruadan of Lorrha
(Lothra), Abbot(Ruadhan, Rodan, Rowan)
d. 584 Feastday: April 15
Born in Leinster, Ireland; died 584. Saint Ruadan, born of royal Munster stock, became a disciple of Saint Finian of Clonard (f.d. December 12). Because he was the founding abbot of Lorrha-Lothra Monastery in Tipperary, where he directed 150 fervent monks who produced the masterpiece Stowe Missal, Ruadan is considered one of the 12 apostles of Ireland. He divided his time between prayer and manual labour sanctified by prayer.
One legend of Ruadan involves the Cursing of Tara, wherein the saintly abbot invoked a solemn curse against the High King of Tara for violating the sanctuary of the monastery to capture the king of Connaught. It is said that the curse was so efficacious that Tara was ruined and deserted. However, the Ardri continued to reside at Tara till his death (564). The legend as to Tara's halls having been deserted after 564 is of comparatively late origin, and is contradicted by the fact that a Feis was held at Tara in 697.
St. Ruadhan's hand was preserved in a silver shrine at Lorrha until the great vandalism of the Reformation. The parish church of Lorrha is built on to an ancient oratory, which may be that of Ruadan.
The little town of Lorrha near Lough Derg, is still set in the surrounds of ancient monastic ruins. The churches, whether in ruins or still in use, are noted for their stone-carving, wood-carving and other crafts (Attwater2, Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer, Healy, Husenbeth, Montague, O'Hanlon).
One of the early saints of Ireland, and the founder and first abbot of Lothra in County Tipperary, Ruadhan was educated by St. Finnian of Clonard, and was reckoned as one of the most distinguished of his disciples. The Lives which have come down to us are late versions and unfortunately are so full of fabulous additions that it is difficult to be sure of what is actually historical. S. Ruadhan is chiefly remembered for his cursing of Tara, and the account describes how the place was blasted to the ground and wiped out from all the subsequent history of Ireland.
There is no doubt that there was animosity and rivalry between Ruadhan and King Dermot, but the King had a healthy regard for the abbot. When one of the nobles fled from the King, he took refuge first with his relative Senach, but Senach passed on this cousin of his, who was called Odo, to Ruadhan, reckoning that he would give him greater protection. Ruadhan had a chamber or crypt beneath his oratory and concealed the fugitive there, placing a chair over the hatch. Dermot, arriving at the cell, seated himself on the chair and demanded where Odo was hidden. Ruadhan answered truthfully, "I cannot say, unless he is beneath your chair".
Tara was not only the seat of the High King but also the centre of the Druidic religion, and the cursing may well be a way of describing how the Celtic civilisation was altered and revitalised by the Christian Church. The significance of the thirty sea-green horses paid to King Dermot by St. Ruadhan as ransom for Odo is more difficult to explain. The story of the saint's dealing with lepers, of how he struck his staff in the ground and a fountain gushed forth cleansing twelve lepers from their disease, is much easier to understand.
The old parish church at Lorrha is built on the site of St. Ruadhan's monastery, and the stumps of two High Crosses are to be found in the church yard there. The Stowe Missal, with its fine shrine, now in the National Museum in Dublin used to be at this monastery, and S. Ruadhan's Bell is in the British Museum in London (Bowen).
The Cursing of Tara
A hundred after Saint Patrick had come and gone, there was a King who ruled Ireland whose name was Diarmuid Mac Cearbhaill. He was the high king of Ireland, ruling his kingdom from his throne at Tara.
Now it happened that one of Diarmuid's men was killed by a chieftain named Hugh Guairy who had a bishop for a brother. This bishop happened to be a close friend of Saint Ruadan of Lorrha. When Diarmuid sent men to arrest Guairy, the clergy, at the request of the bishop, provided him with a safe house. Diarmuid, however, had little respect for the bishops of the new religion, and Guairy was taken away from under the refuge of the Church.
The bishops of Ireland joined together against the King who had dared to strike against their authority. They gathered together at Tara and fasted against the King, cursing him and his seat of government. It was at this time that Diarmuid's wife had a prophetic dream, and she told it thus to Diarmuid:
"Upon Tara's green was a vast and wide-foliaged tree, and eleven slaves hewing at it; but every chip that they knocked from it would return into its place again and there adhere instantly, till at last there came one man that dealt the tree but a stroke, and with that single cut laid it low."
Diarmuid immediately knew that the tree was the authority of the Irish monarchy; that the twelve hewers were the Saints of Ireland; and the one who laid it low was Saint Ruadan. Recognising the fate of his country hanging in the balance the King exclaimed:
"Alas, for the iniquitous contest that ye have waged against me; seeing that it is Ireland's good that I pursue, and to preserve her discipline and royal right; but 'tis Ireland's unpeace and murderousness that ye endeavour."
But Saint Ruadan cursed Tara saying, "Desolate be Tara forever and ever". Guairy was surrendered to the fasting bishops and Tara was abandoned, and never more did Ireland have a King of all Her People except for the short time that Brian Boru drove the Vikings from Clontarf.
N.B. Ruadan's embassy to King Dermot at Tara, in 556, is worked into a romance known as the "Cursing of Tara", but the ard ri (high king)continued to reside at Tara till his death (564). The legend as to Tara's halls having been deserted after 564 is of comparatively late origin, and is contradicted by the fact that a Feis was held at Tara in 697.
St. Rufus (Rufin) of
Feastday: April 22
Date unknown (c. 202?). Saint Rufus was a hermit at Glendalough, where he was buried. Some writers call him a bishop (Benedictines, Husenbeth).