September 2 is the feastday of a County Kildare saint, Seanan of Laithrech-Briuin. Canon O'Hanlon begins his account with a lament that he is one of the many Irish saints of whom we know little:
ST. SEANAN, OF LAITHRECH-BRIUIN, NOW LARAGHBRINE, COUNTY OF KILDARE. [SIXTH CENTURY.]
WE have frequently to lament the loss of records, which might preserve the particular virtues and actions of individuals for the edification and emulation of all true Christians. As noticeable throughout all the previous volumes of this work, with the most earnest desire to render its several articles, more complete, documentary or traditional materials are not accessible, to rescue from obscurity the earthly career of so many among the children of light. Merely to learn their names—sometimes also those of their old places—and to know that they had lived, are all that can now be ascertained.
According to the Feilire-Aenguis, the Feast of St. Senan was celebrated in Lathrach Briuin, or Laraghbrine, in Ui-Foelain, on the 2nd of September. In conjunction with two other holy persons, Molotha and Theodota, the saint is praised for his noble qualities, and for their reward through Christ. The commentator identifies the present saint as connected with a well-known place. According to the Calendar of the O'Clerys, he belonged to the race of Eochaidh, son of Muireadh, who descended from the seed of Heremon. We are told, likewise, that Deidi, daughter to Trian, son of Dubhthach, was his mother. The pedigree of St. Senan of Laraghbrine is contained in the "Sanctilogic Genealogy." There he is called the son of Fintan, son to Strened, son of Glinder, son to Core, son of Conned, son to Aengus, son of Fieg, son to Mail, son of Carthage, & etc. His genealogy is then carried back to Heremon for fifty generations, or for about 1600 years. Marianus O'Gorman has noted this saint, in his Martyrology, at the present date. St. Senan must have flourished in the sixth century, and been a contemporary of the great St. Columbkille, for he is named as one of those ecclesiastics who attended the great Synod, held at Dromcreat in 580. On the 2nd of September, a festival is entered in the Martyrology of Donegal, to honour Seanan, of Laithrech Briuin, in the territory of Hy-Faelain. This place is also written Lathrach-Briuin. At present it is known as Laraghbrine, or Laraghbryan, where there is an old church and a cemetery, near Maynooth, in the Barony of North Salt, and County of Kildare.
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