Celtic and Old English Saints          7 June

* St. Colman of Dromore
* St. Meriadoc of Vannes

St. Colman (Mocholmoc) Bishop of Dromore
Born at Argyll, c. 516; died c. 610; he has a second feast on October
27. If you are confused by the many saints named Colman, there are 126
Irish saints bearing that illustrious name. Today's saint was the first
abbot of Muckmore, County Antrim, then chosen as the abbot-founder and
bishop of Dromore in County Down. He founded the See of Dromore, of
which he is patron and over which he presided as bishop. He set up a
small 'daub and wattle' church on this site in 510 AD. Probably thatched
with reeds from the River Lagan which flows beside it, this church site
has been, for the 15 centuries since, a location for the worship of
Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of all humanity. Little evidence is available
for the first 700 years of St. Colman's Church nor is there any
indication of either its style or size.

He studied at Noendrum (Mahee Island), under St. Mochae or Coelan, one
of the earliest disciples of St. Patrick. Many interesting stories are
told of his edifying life at Noendrum and the miracles he worked there.
To perfect his knowledge of the Scriptures St. Colman went to the great
school of Emly, c. 470 or 475, and remained there some years. At length
he returned to Mahee Island to see his old master, St. Mochae, and
remained under his guidance for a long period, acting as assistant in
the school. Among his many pupils at Mahee Island, in the first quarter
of the sixth century, was St. Finian of Moville.

Jocelin, in his life of Saint Patrick, tells us that Colman's virtue was
foretold by Patrick. Many miracles are ascribed to the bishop. This
Colman is titular saint of at least one church in Scotland, Inis
Mo-Cholmaig, and one in Wales, Llangolman (Attwater, Benedictines,
Encyclopaedia, Husenbeth, Montague).

St. Meriadoc, Bishop of Vannes
(also known as Meriadec, Meriasek)
Died c. 688.

"Poverty is a remover of cares and the mother of holiness."
-- Saint Meriadoc.

Meriadoc, though venerated especially in Cornwall and Brittany, was
probably a Welshman who lived in the 5th or 6th century. He came to
Cornwall and founded several churches, one of which at Camborne was once
dedicated to him. He became renowned in these parts and a miracle play
in Cornish still survives, recounting his legendary exploits.

He then crossed over into Brittany, where his memory is still strong. In
the 16th-century church at Plougasnou is a reliquary containing what may
well be part of Meriadoc's skull. At Stival is preserved what is
believed to be his bell. Placed on the heads of the deaf and those
suffering migraine, it is said to heal them. Some documents state that
Meriadoc even became bishop of Vannes at a time when it was one of the
most important cities of Brittany.

Meriadoc had been a rich man. Before becoming a hermit he gave all his
money to poor clerics, distributing his lands to the needy. So great
became his reputation for sanctity that he feared he would become vain
and retired even further from the world. Instead of the silks and purple
that he once wore, Meriadoc new dressed in rags, eating simple food,
living in complete poverty.

When his relatives tried to make him leave his new life and return to
the world, he told the viscount of Rohan who had come with these
relatives that he would be better engaged extirpating the thieves and
robbers of the neighbourhood. The viscount took the saint at his word,
and a great evil was removed from Brittany.

Although Meriadoc was unanimously elected bishop of Vannes, he took the
bishopric reluctantly. After his consecration he continued a life of
abstinence and love for the poor. He died kissing his brethren and
crying, "Into your hands, Lord, I commend my Spirit" (Bentley).

Bell of Saint Meriadoc

Troparion of St Meriadoc tone 4
O Meriadoc holy hermit,/ through thy simplicity thou didst draw many
souls to God./ Near the church of the Mother of God in Camborne/ thou
didst cause a healing well to rise./ We glorify God Who has glorified


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.

Bentley, J. (1986). A Calendar of Saints: The Lives of the
Principal Saints of the Christian Year, NY: Facts on File.

Encyclopedia of Catholic Saints, June. (1966). Philadelphia:
Chilton Books.

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.

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