Celtic and Old English Saints          13 October

* St. Comgan of Lochalsh
* St. Colman of Melk
* St. Fyncana and St. Fyndoca of Scotland
* St. Edward the Confessor

St. Comgan (Cowan), of Scotland, Abbot of Lochalsh,
Brother of Saint Kentigerna, Hermitess of Loch Lomond
8th century. Saint Comgan, son of King Ceallach (Kelly) of Leinster,
was the brother of Saint Kentigern (f.d. January 7) and
uncle to Saint Fillan (f.d. January 19). Farmer reports that he
succeeded his father as chief. After a defeat in battle, Comgan,
Kentigerna, her three sons, and seven others were exiled by a coalition
of neighbouring tribes. They settled in western Ross, where Comgan
founded a monastery at Lochalsh, opposite Skye. He embraced the
monastic life in Scotland, where his feast is kept in the diocese of
Aberdeen. Comgan's relics were buried by Fillan at Iona and a church
built over them. Many churches in the area mark their movements:
Kilchoan and Kilcongen (Church of Comgan), Killelan (Church of Fillan),
and others at Islay (Loch Melfort), Ardnamurchan, Knoydart, Sye, North
Uist, Kiltearn, and Turriff (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, D'Arcy,
Farmer, Simpson, Skene).

St. Coloman (Colman, Koloman) of Stockerau (of Melk)
Died in Stockerau, Austria, on October 18, 1012. Saint Coloman, an
Irish or Scottish monk of royal lineage who began a penitential
pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was stopped at Stockerau, about six miles
from Vienna. (Montague says that there is no evidence that Colomon was
a missionary or a priest, but simply a pilgrim.) At that time there
were continual squirmishes between Austria, Moravia, and Bohemia. So
the stranger, who spoke no German, was accused of being a spy and, after
various tortures, hanged to death between two thieves.

For 18 months Coloman's body remained on the gibbet, uncorrupted and
unmolested by the birds and beasts--a miracle. The scaffolding itself
was said to have taken root and sent forth green branches. Because of
the many miracles that were wrought by his incorrupt body, a popular
veneration arose.

Marquis Henry of Austria (later Emperor Henry), intrigued by the
devotion to Coloman, ordered an investigation into the history of the
cultus. Three years after Coloman's death, the investigation led Henry
to ask Bishop Megingard to translate Coloman's relics to the tomb he had
built for them in the imposing Abbey of Melk (then called Mark, the
capital of the ancient Marcomans near Moravia) on the Danube River in
western Austria.

In art, Saint Colman is a pilgrim monk with a rope in his hand. At
times he may be shown (1) hanged on a gibbet; (2) with tongs and rod;
and (3) as a priest with a book and maniple. He is venerated in Melk
and Ireland. Colman is the patron of hanged men [sic!] horses, and
Austria (Coulson, D'Arcy). He is invoked against plague (Roeder) and
for husbands by marriageable girls (D'Arcy).

St. Fyncana and St. Fyndoca of Scotland, Virgin Martyrs
Date unknown. These virgin martyrs are included in the Aberdeen
breviary, but nothing is known of them (Benedictines).


Attwater, D. (1983). The Penguin Dictionary of Saints, NY:
Penguin Books.

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

Coulson, J. (ed.). (1960). The Saints: A Concise Biographical
Dictionary. New York: Hawthorn Books.

D'Arcy, M. R. (1974). The Saints of Ireland. Saint Paul, Minnesota:
Irish American Cultural Institute. [This is probably the most
useful book to choose to own on the Irish saints. The author
provides a great deal of historical context in which to place the
lives of the saints.]

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

Simpson, W. G. (1934). Celtic Church in Scotland.
Aberdeen University Studies.

Skene, W. F. (1875-80). Celtic Scotland, 3 vols. Edinburgh.

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