Tuesday 28 May 2013

Saint Moel-Odhran of Iona, May 28

May 28 is the feast of a saint Maelodran (Moel-Odhran, Mailodranus) who, as Canon O'Hanlon tells us, has been linked to Iona and to a 'soldier of Christ' of this name mentioned in the writings of Saint Adamnan:


LITTLE remains in old records, to point with any degree of certainty to the family, period, place, or personality, of this saint. We find the name, Maelodran, simply inserted, in the Martyrology of Tallagh, at this date. On the same authority, and on that of Adamnan, the Bollandists have his festival placed, in a like order. Colgan intended to insert the Acts of this saint, at the 28th of May. However, he appears to have been in doubt, whether the saint, to whom reference had been made, should be assigned to such day, or to the 10th of January; for, the Irish Martyrologies make mention of a saint Moel-Odhran, at both days. It has been supposed, that our saint is mentioned by Adamnan, who calls him a soldier of Christ, and from that part of the country, denominated Mocurin, or Mocuria. Adamnan also states, that Mailodranus related to him an anecdote, which is found in his biography of St. Columkille; and hence, he must have been contemporaneous with that writer. It is most likely, that he lived in the seventh century; but, indeed, nothing seems to be discoverable, which serves to elucidate his history. The name Mael-Odhrain signifies the servant of Odhran; and, we find this name occurring in our Irish Calendars at January 10th, May 31st, and November 11th. From such circumstance, Colgan shows, that he could not have been Odhran, Abbot of Iona, venerated, at the 27th of October, and who is called the son of Angin, and also belonging to Tegh-Erarain, in Media, according to Marianus O'Gorman, Moreover, Colgan calls Odhran a monk; but, on what authority, it is difficult to discover. He is called, indeed, a soldier of Christ by Adamnan; therefore, it is not unlikely he was a religious, and probably a monk of Iona.

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