Celtic and Old English Saints          23 August

* St. Tydfil of Glamorgan
* St. Eugene of Tyrone

St. Tydfil of Glamorgan, Martyr
Died c. 480. Saint Tydfil, one of the daughters of the prolific Saint
Brychan of Brecknock (f.d. April 6). She is venerated at
Merthyr-Tydfil, Glamorgan, Wales, where she was killed by pagans
(possibly either the marauding Picts or Saxons) and buried
(Benedictines, Farmer).

St. Eugene, Bishop of Tyrone
(Eogain, Eoghan, Euny, Owen)
Born in Leinster, Ireland; died 618 (or 570). Saint Eugene is another
of the many Irishmen who laboured in the mission fields of England and
the Continent. Thereafter he returned to Ireland, where he became the
first bishop of Ardfrath (Ardstraw), on the river Derg in Tyrone, which
is now the see of Derry. The rest of what we know derives from
unreliable sources. These say that Eugene was an excellent and
assiduous preacher, born of the royal blood of Leinster and related to
Saint Kevin (f.d. June 3). They report that, like Saint Patrick in
reverse, he was kidnapped as a child and taken into slavery in Britain
and then removed to Brittany with Saint Tigernach (f.d. April 4) and
Coirpre (who later became bishop of Coleraine). Eventually they
were manumitted by their master and all returned to Ireland. He then
spent 15 years with Saint Kevin at Kilnamanacg, helped Tigernach found
Clones Monastery about 576, and then was consecrated bishop c. 581. He
was buried in his own churchyard, over whose sepulchre a chapel was
afterward built. He is the patron of the diocese of Derry
(Benedictines, Delaney, Husenbeth, Montague).

Troparion of St Eogan tone 4
O great traveller Eogan who didst traverse Christian Europe in thy zeal
for Christ,/ trained by Saint Ninian thou wast a wise teacher of the
Faith./ Glory to God Who has glorified thee.

Some miracles from the Life of St Eugene:

While St. Tigernach and St. Eugene were sojourning at the Little Wood, when 
the latter was about to depart for Ardstraw, they both took a ramble towards 
a small eminence, where sitting down they entered on a course of pious 
conversation. Then having separated, a minister of Eugene recollected that 
he had left behind a small vessel, from which it was his custom to sprinkle 
infirm persons with  holy water. The next day, Eugene and his minister 
returned to that same place, when to their great surprise, a fox was found 
dead, with the vessel belonging to Eugene near him, and which he had 
attempted to gnaw. It was perfectly preserved, however, owing to the saint's 
merits. Even a thong of leather attached was found uninjured between the 
animal's teeth.

Another time, when both of those holy prelates were on a customary 
visitation of a small nunnery, they found the minister of the Abbess Mossera 
and of her nuns dead. However, St. Tigernach desired Eugene to place his 
baculus on the body of the deceased. A great miracle followed, when that 
servant came to life, and he was restored to his former state of health.

In the monastery at Ardstraw, Eogan led a most holy life, being 
distinguished for his miracles and for a spirit of prophecy. Instances of 
the latter gift are furnished, in the case of a wicked Gentile prince, named 
Amalgid, who had ordered a spear having five points on it to be made, and 
with this  he resolved on immolating innocent victims, in accordance with 
some pagan custom or superstition, which held possession of his mind. On 
hearing about such intent, the charitable Abbot went to him, entreating that 
he should not put it into execution ; nevertheless, the cruel tyrant would 
not be  diverted from his purpose. The saint declared, that should he do so, 
on the third day after the evil deed had been committed, the prince himself 
must die pierced by that same spear. Such prediction was accordingly

Various of his miracles are related in the old Acts ; but, as some of those 
marvels are of a legendary character, they may be passed over as not worthy 
of being here recorded. It is told, that in a certain town named Lettach,one 
hundred persons of both sexes had been surrounded by pirates; but, having 
sent word to the holy man, that they were likely to be captured or in danger 
of perishing, he passed unnoticed through the enemy's camp, and having 
baptized them, all were brought away unseen by the pirates and were thus 
saved. Again, it is stated, that while Eugene was travelling through a great 
wood, which stretched for sixty thousand paces along the River Bann, he met 
a miserable pauper, who was a leper, on the way. As a charity, he bestowed 
the two chariot horses he used on that poor mendicant. Such self-sacrificing 
act was made known by a revelation to St. Corpre, Bishop of Coleraine, who 
sent two other horses to supply the place of those which had been given 
away. At another time, on the approach of Easter, Corpre borrowed a Book of 
Gospels from Eugene, as Eastertide approached, and when the latter wanted 
it, on the very night of that festival, the Angels of God left it once more 
on his altar. While the holy Bishop was journeying through a wood called 
Croibeth, in company with a boy, he recited the fifty Psalms, and afterwards 
the Lord's Prayer, so far as the words, "sed libera nos a malo." The boy 
then answered Amen, when an extraordinary echo resounded those concluding 
words throughout the forest.

On a certain occasion, the holy man, with his retinue, was uncourteously 
treated at a town, where he arrived towards evening, and where fifty persons 
of both sexes were assembled at a banquet. There
he was denied hospitality, so that he was obliged to remain in the open air 
all night. He spent it awake, and while fasting he prayed. However, he 
predicted, that for the future, such a feast should not there take place, 
nor should the land about it prove fertile. His prophecy was fulfilled, even 
to that time when the saint's eulogy had been pronounced. However, on the 
day following, one of the feasters named Caitne, and whose wife is called 
Brig, invited him and his companions to their house, where dinner had been 
prepared for their labourers. This dinner consisted of beef and swine's 
flesh, with beer for their drink. Of such viands, Eugene and his companions 
partook, having blessed them before and after partaking of their meal. 
Afterwards, the saint blessed that house, and the cellars of his kind 
entertainers. He predicted, moreover, that such food and drink should serve 
their household, so long as no irreverent remark was made regarding them. 
This condition was observed, only from the Kalends of November to the 
Pentecost succeeding. The panegyrist of our saint declares, in closing his 
account of the miracles Eugene wrought during life, that he only recounted a 
few of those merits, with which the subject of his discourse was so 
remarkably favoured by the Almighty.

It is stated, that Eugene was living, about the year 570. Having attained a 
mature term of years, and a full measure of merit in the sight of God, he 
was happily called out of this world, some time in the sixth century. Having 
been seized with a grievous infirmity, which grew on him day by day, calling 
his monks around him, he received Extreme Unction and the Holy Viaticum, 
with sentiments of the most pious resignation. When such religious rites had 
been administered, his monks separated into two choirs, and standing, they 
alternately chanted appropriate psalms. During that pious and solemn 
of the Divine Office, Angels received the soul of Eogan, and bore it to 
Christ, whom he had so long and so faithfully served.

Source: Canon John O'Hanlon, Lives of the Irish Saints, Vol VIII.


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

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

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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