Celtic and Old English Saints          17 February

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* St. Finan of Iona and Lindisfarne
* St. Fintan of Clonenagh
* St. Fortchern of Trim
* St. Guevrock of Saint-Pol-de-Leon
* St. Loman of Trim
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St. Finan of Iona, Bishop
------------------------------------------------------------
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.

Icon of St. Finan:
http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/saintf12.jpg



St. Fintan of Clonenagh, Abbot
------------------------------------------------------------
Born in Leinster; died 603. A disciple of Saint Columba (or according to
Montague, Saint David), Fintan led the life of a hermit at Clonenagh in
Leix. Soon numerous disciples, including Saint Comgal (f.d. May 11),
attached themselves to him, and he became their abbot. Such was the
austerity of the life led at Clonenagh that neighbouring monasteries
protested. Fintan himself was reputed to live on a diet of barley bread
and clayey water; however, he established a less strict rule for some
neighbouring monks.

One day some soldiers brought the severed heads of their enemies to the
monastery. Fintan had these buried in the monks' cemetery hoping that by
the Judgement Day they would have benefited from the prayers of
generations of monks: "since the
principal part of their bodies rest here, we hope they will find mercy."
Fintan's feast is celebrated throughout Ireland (Benedictines, Farmer,
Husenbeth, Montague).


St. Fortchern (Forkernus) of Trim
------------------------------------------------------------
6th century. Saint Fortchern is said to have been converted to the faith
by Saint Loman (f.d. today), whom he succeeded as bishop of Trim,
Ireland, before becoming a hermit (Benedictines). In art, St. Fortchern
pictured as a bishop among bell-founders of whom he is the patron
(Roeder).


St. Guevrock of Saint-Pol-de-Leon, Abbot
(also Gueroc, Guevroc, Guivrok, Guirec, Kirecq,Kerric)
------------------------------------------------------------
Hermit. 6th century. Saint Guevrock was a Briton who followed
Saint Tadwal to Brittany and succeeded him as abbot of Loc-Kirec.
He helped Saint Paul of Leon in the rule of the diocese (Benedictines).


St. Loman (Luman) of Trim, Bishop
------------------------------------------------------------
Died c. 450; he has a second feast on October 11. Tradition has him the
son of St. Patrick's sister Tigris. Loman was probably at least a
disciple of Patrick. He accompanied Patrick to Ireland and was left to
navigate their boat up the Boyne while Patrick went to Tara. On the way,
he met Fortchern (f.d. today), son of the chieftain of Trim, his mother,
a Christian, and his father Fedelmid, a pagan. In time, he converted
Fedelmid and his whole household, including his successor
Fortchern, to Christianity.

Fedelmid gave Patrick land at Trim for a church, and Loman became bishop
of Trim in Meath, Ireland. Some scholars believe that in reality Loman
was a bishop of Trim in the 7th century and in no way related to Patrick
(Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer).


Sources:
========

Baring-Gould, S The Lives of the Saints
(15 volumes: John Hodges, 1882)

Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
(1947). The Book of Saints. NY: Macmillan.

Farmer, D. H. (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Saints.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Husenbeth, Rev. F. C., DD, VG (ed.). (1928). Butler's
Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints.
London: Virtue & Co.

Montague, H. P. (1981). The Saints and Martyrs of Ireland.
Guildford: Billing & Sons.

Roeder, H. (1956). Saints and Their Attributes, Chicago: Henry
Regnery.

For All the Saints:
http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/ss-index.htm

An Alphabetical Index of the Saints of the West
http://www.orthodoxengland.btinternet.co.uk/saintsa.htm

These Lives are archived at:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints
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