Celtic and Old English Saints          3 September

* St. MacNisse of Connor
* St. Balin of Techsaxon
* St. Cuthburga of Wimborne
* St. Quenburga of Wimborne
* St. Hereswitha of Chelles
* St. Edward of England
* St. Lon-garadh (see #2)
* St. Gregory the Great (see #3)

Saint Lon-garadh of Kilgorey
(Garadh, Lon)
Also 24 June

There is also another very interesting Irish saint commemorated on 3rd 
September, St Lon-garad, styled the 'Augustine of Ireland' for his knowledge 
and love of books. It appears that he perhaps guarded
his books a little too jealously and fell foul of St Columbcille who had 
something of a track record in wanting access to the libraries of others! St 
Lon's Life is covered in O'Hanlon's Lives of Irish Saints, but this account 
gives more direct quotations from the sources:

St. Garadh, Lon, or Lon-garadh, an Ossory Saint of early date, distinguished 
as well for his great learning as for his eminent virtues, was the founder 
and patron of the church of Cashel (or Coshel, as the name is locally and 
correctly pronounced). He was the contemporary of St. Columbkille, and 
pre-deceased him, so that his death must have occurred before the year 597. 
He is commemorated in the Martyrology of Tallaght, on the 24th of June, as 
"Lon of Cill-Gabra," that is, of Kilgorey, in the parish of Doonane, on the 
borders of time the parish of Clough. The Martyrology of Donegal also
commemorates him on the 24th of June, as "Lon of Cill-Gohhra,' (from which 
it may be concluded that his festival was kept at Kilgorey, on the 24th of 
June); and again on the 3rd Sept., thus:

"Lon-garadh of Sliabh Mairge, or of Magh Tuathat. Lon-garadh Coisfinn [i.e. 
of the white foot], of Disert Garadh, in the north of Ossraighe, i.e. of 
Magh-Garadh in Ui-Faircheallaigh, and of Cill-Gabhra, in Sliabh Mairge. It 
is said that the book-satchels of Erinn, and the Gospels, and the 
lesson-books of the students, fell from their racks on the night of 
Lon-garadh's death, so that no person should ever understand them as 
Lon-garadh used to understand them. It was of this was said:-

"Lon died, [Lon died,]
Garadh was unfortunate;
He is a loss to learning and schools
Of Erinn's isle to its extremities."

"A very ancient old-vellum-book, which we have mentioned under Brighit, at 
1st Feb., and under Patrick, 17th March, states, that Lon-garadh, in his 
habits and life, was like to Augustine, who was very

The Feilire of Aengus, at same date (Sept. 3rd), has:

"Longarad, a delightful sun."

On this passage, the Scholiast in the Leabhar Breac thus comments:

"Longarad, i.e. of Sliabh Mairge or in Mag Tuathat in the north of Ossory. 
Longarad the white-legged in Mag Tuathat in the north of Ossory, i.e. in 
Ui-Foirchellain, i.e. in Mag Garad in Disert Garad
especially, and in Cell Gabra, in Sliabh Mairge, in Les Longaradh. 
Whitelegged, i.e. great white hair through his legs. Or bright-white were 
his legs. A sage of learning and jurisprudence and poetry was he. To him 
Colombcille chanced to come as a guest, and he hid his books from Colomb, 
and Colombcille left his curse on Longarad's books, to wit, 'May that,' 
quoth he, 'as to which thou hast shown
niggaradliness be of no profit after thee.' And this was fulfilled.  For the 
books still remain and no man reads them. Now when Longarad was dead, men of 
lore say this, that the book-satchels of Ireland
fell down on that night. Or it is the satchels wherein were books of every 
science in the cell where Colombcille was that fell then, and Colombcille 
and everyone in that house marvel, and all are silent at the noisy shaking 
of the books. So then said Colombcille: 'Lon-garadh in Ossory,' quoth he, 'a 
sage of every science, has now died.' 'May it be long till that comes true,' 
quoth Baithin.' Unfaith on the man in thy place,' says Colombcille et dixit 

'Dead is Lon
Of Cell garad--great the evil!
To Erin with her many homesteads
It is ruin of learning and schools.

'Died hath Lon
In Cell garad--great the evil !
It is ruin of the learning and schools
Of Erin's island over her border.'"

The Saint's church of Disert-Garadh though described so minutely above as in 
Magh-Garadh, in the territory of Magh-Tuathat otherwise Ui-Foircheallain, in 
the north of Ossory, has been hitherto sought for in vain. Its position is, 
however, no longer doubtful. It stood within the churchyard of Cashel, on 
the south bank of the river Nore, in the original Ui-Foircheallain. The 
Irish name of this churchyard, as still traditionally handed down in the 
locality, is Coshel-Gorra, which exactly represents Caipeal-Sapad, or St. 
Garadh's Cashel.

Source: Carrigan "The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory", Vol 
2 (1905)


Reply via email to