Celtic and Old English Saints          24 November

* St. Colman of Cloyne
* St. Kenan of Damleag
* St. Marianus and St. Anianus
* St. Eanfleda of Whitby
* St. Bieuzy of Brittany

St. Colman (MacLenini) of Cloyne, Bishop
Born in Munster, Ireland, 522-530; died c. 600. Son of Lenini, he
became the royal bard to the kings at Cashel. His job as the
"sun-bright bard" entailed the roles not only of poet and musician, but
also of chronicler and genealogist. It is said that he became a
Christian after rescuing from a lake the stolen shrine with the relics
of Saint Ailbhe (f.d. September 12).

And what does this have to do with his conversion? Saint Brendan of
Clonfert (f.d. May 16) came to Cashel to resolve a dispute. While he
was there the grave and relics of Saint Ailbhe were discovered. Colman
lifted the shrine from the water. Saint Brendan said that hands that
had been sanctified by touching such holy remains should not remain the
hands of a pagan. So it happened that at age 50 MacLenini was baptized
Colman by Saint Brendan.

Thereafter, Brendan placed him under the care of Saint Jarlath (f.d.
June 6) at Clonfuis and took him to his own mother, Saint Ita (f.d.
January 15), for counselling. Colman embraced the monastic life, was
ordained, and preached in Limerick and Cork. In the "Life of Saint
Columba of Terryglass," Colman is said to have been Saint Columba's
(f.d. June 9) teacher and guardian. Late in life he founded the church
of Cloyne in County Cork and became its first bishop. Colman is the
patron saint of Cloyne in eastern Cork.

Five of Colman's sisters, the "daughters of Lenin," comprised a small
religious community at Killiney Hill, County Dublin, which is named
after their church: "Cill Inghean Leinin" or Kilmaclenine, which is now
a national monument (Attwater, Benedictines, Carty, D'Arcy, Delaney,
Farmer, Montague, Walsh).

Troparion of St Colman of Cloyne tone 8
Leaving thy post as bard of Cashel and embracing the monastic life, O
Father Colman,/ thou didst employ thy God-given poetic talents teaching
our holy and saving faith./ Wherefore O Saint, pray to God that He would
bestow again the gift of words that the Faith may be taught in these
islands for the salvation of many souls.

St. Kenan of Damleag, Bishop
(Cianan, Kea, Kay, Quay)
Died November 24, c. 489-500. In his youth Saint Kenan was one of the
50 hostages whom the princes of Ireland gave to King Leogair, but he was
later freed through the intercession of Bishop Kiaran. Like Saint
Patrick (f.d. March 17), Kenan was an Irish bishop who was a disciple of
Saint Martin of Tours (f.d. November 11). Returning to Ireland, he
preached successfully in Connaught, before moving on to Leinster and
then Owen, which was named for his maternal uncle, King Owen of Munster.
There he destroyed a pagan altar and built a Christian church in its
place. Kenan was the first bishop in Ireland to build his own cathedral
(Damleag or Duleek in Meath) of stone. His writing was acknowledged by
Saint Patrick to be better than his own (Benedictines, Encyclopaedia,

Troparion of St Kenan tone 1
As a witness to the steadfastness of the Faith of Christ,/ thou didst
erect to His glory Ireland's first cathedral of stone, O Hierarch
Kenan,/ where thou didst labour for the salvation of men's souls./
Wherefore O Saint, pray that our labours may be blessed and bear fruit/
that many may be led into the Way of Salvation.

St. Marianus and St. Anianus, Martyrs
8th century. These Irish martyrs evangelized the region of Rot on the
Inn River in southeastern Bavaria. They arrived in the area on their
return from a pilgrimage to Rome. Both were martyred on the same day
and buried in the monastery of Rot (D'Arcy, Fitzpatrick, Kenney,

St. Eanfleda (Enfleda) of Whitby, Widow
Died c. 700. Eanfleda, daughter of King Saint Edwin of Northumbria
(f.d. October 12) and his wife Saint Ethelburga of Kent (f.d. April 5),
was baptized as an infant by Saint Paulinus (f.d. October 10) at
Pentecost in 626. She was a great benefactress of Saint Wilfrid (f.d.
October 12). In her widowhood she became a nun at Whitby under her own
daughter, Saint Elfleda (f.d. February 8) (Benedictines).

St. Bieuzy of Brittany, Martyr
7th century. While Bieuzy was a native of Britain, he is venerated in
Brittany to which he followed Saint Gildas (f.d. January 29). We have
no particulars of his life or martyrdom (Benedictines).


Attwater, D. (1983). The Penguin Dictionary of Saints,
2nd edition, revised and updated by Catherine Rachel John.
New York: Penguin Books.

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

Carty, F. (1941). Two and Fifty Irish Saints. Dublin: James Duffy & Co.

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.]

Delaney, J. J. (1983). Pocket Dictionary of Saints.
New York: Doubleday Image.

Encyclopaedia of Catholic Saints, October. (1966).
Philadelphia: Chilton Books.

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

Fitzpatrick, B. (1922). Ireland and the Making of Britain.
New York: Funk and Wagnalls.

Fitzpatrick, B. (1927). Ireland and the Foundations of Europe.
New York: Funk & Wagnalls.

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

Kenney, J. F. (1929). Sources for Early History of Ireland, vol. 1,
Ecclesiastical. New York: Columbia University Press.

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

O'Hanlon, J. (1875). Lives of Irish Saints, 10 vol. Dublin.

Walsh, M. (ed.). (1985). Butler's Lives of the Saints. San Francisco:
Harper & Row.

For All the Saints:

These Lives are archived at:

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