Celtic and Old English Saints          15 February

* St. Berach of Cluain  #2
* St. Dochow of Wales
* St. Farannan of Iona
* St. Sigfrid of Wexlow
* Ss. Winaman, Unaman & Sunaman
* St. Tanco of Werden

St. Berach of Cluain, Abbot
(also known as Barachias, Berachius, Barry)

On the Feast of Saint Berach:

A righteous man was this man. He was all purity of nature like a patriarch; 
a true pilgrim in heart and soul like Abraham; gentle and forgiving like 
Moses; a psalmist worthy to be praised like David; a
moon (or treasury) of knowledge and wisdom like Solomon; a chosen vessel to 
proclaim righteousness like Paul the apostle; a man full of grace and favour 
of the Holy Spirit, like John the youth; a fair
garden with plants of virtue, a branch of a fruitful vine; a shining fire 
all aglow to cherish and warm the sons of life in kindling and inflaming 
love. A lion for might and power; a dove for gentleness and
simplicity, a serpent for prudence and ingenuity for good; gentle, humble, 
merciful, lowly towards sons of life; dark and pitiless towards sons of 
death; an industrious and obedient slave to Christ; a
king for dignity and power to bind and loose, to free and to enslave, to 
kill and make alive. (89)

So then after these great miracles, after raising the dead, after healing 
lepers and blind and lame, and every other plague, after ordaining bishops, 
and priests, and deacons, and people of every other order in the Church, 
after teaching and baptizing many, after founding churches and monasteries, 
after overcoming the arts of idols and of druidism, the day of St. Berach's 
death and of his going to heaven drew near. And before he went thither there 
appeared an angel to him, and said to him, that the Lord had great care for 
him, and for his monks and for his monastery; and said that whoever should 
ask a righteous perfect petition of him, it should be granted to him; and 
revealed to him the day of his going to heaven. (90)

Now Berach spent his life in fastings and prayer and almsgivings in the 
presence of the Lord. He received communion and sacrifice from the hand of 
Talmach [and commended] to him his inheritance and the
headship of his monastery and of his young ecclesiastics. He sent his spirit 
to heaven, and his body was buried in the dark house (i. e. grave) with 
great honour and reverence, and with miracles and mighty
works in this world; but greater far will be (his honour) in the (great) 
Assize, when he will shine like the sun in heaven in the presence of the 
apostles and disciples of Jesus, in the presence of the Divinity and 
Humanity of the Son of God, in the presence of the sublime Trinity, Father, 
Son, and Holy Spirit.

I pray the mercy of the Son of God Almighty through the intercession of St. 
Berach whose festival and commemoration are (observed) in many noble 
churches to-day, that we may attain, that we may merit, that we may inherit 
the kingdom in secula seculorum. Amen. Finis.

'Life of Berach' in C. Plummer ed.and trans. Bethada Naem nErenn -
Lives of Irish Saints, Vol II,  (Oxford, 1922), 42-43


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