Tuesday 4 March 2014

Saint Muicin of Moyne, March 4

March 4 is the commemoration of Saint Muicin of Moyne.  The 17th-century hagiologist, Father John Colgan, was convinced that Saint Muicin of Moyne was a disciple of Saint Patrick. This view, however, was not without its own difficulties, as Canon O'Hanlon explains:


Colgan and the Bollandists have some notices of this saint, at the 4th day of March... There is no account, regarding the time, in which St. Mucna or Muckin, of Magin, in Tyrawly, lived. Although we find him classed, by Colgan, among St. Patrick's disciples; still, there is not the least foundation for an assertion, that he was made bishop, by our Irish Apostle. This may be gleaned from all omission in the Tripartite—the only authority cited for this occasion—which only makes mention of Muckna, not as having been placed by St. Patrick, a bishop, over Domnach-mor church, in Tyrawly, but, rather as having been buried, in that place. It has been identified with Moyne, in the parish of Killala, barony of Tirawley, and county of Mayo. The foundation of a church is supposed to have been laid there, about A.D. 440, when the Apostle prosecuted his successful mission, in that western district. It seems, Colgan adopted an opinion, that Muckna ruled over this church as a bishop, but, without any sufficient foundation for referring it to St. Patrick's time; and, then finding himself puzzled about the period when this supposed disciple lived, he threw out a conjecture, that such appointment took place, A.D. 470. He assigns as a reason for this conjecture, that the Tripartite seems to indicate, by the term "est," that Muckna was alive, about the year 520; for, this has been very uncritically considered, as the period when the Tripartite Life had been written. Yet, nothing is more common in some of St. Patrick's Lives than to use est for requiescit; so that, the meaning of the passage now quoted may be, that Mucna's remains were at Domnach-mor; still, at what time they were deposited there, we have no means left for discovering. Apparently, for no more sufficient reason, than not to make Mucna live too long, Colgan affixed this appointment as bishop there, to the year 470, so that he might probably be living, about A.D. 520. An entry appears, in the Martyrology of Tallagh, at the 4th of March, which thus reads: "Mucini Maighni." Marianus O'Gorman, also, commemorates him. In the Manuscript of Florarius, we find an entry of Mokinus, Abbas, at the same date. According to the Martyrology of Donegal, we read, about Muicin, of Maighin, as having a festival on this day.

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