Tuesday 1 April 2014

Saint Tuan of Tamlacht, April 1

A County Down saint, Tuan of Tamlacht, is commemorated on April 1. In his account below, Canon O'Hanlon expresses his irritation at the medieval commentator Giraldus Cambrensis, who confounded this saint with a legendary figure called Ruanus and concluded that he was 1500 years old when he died! As Professor Padráig Ó Riain, in his new Dictionary of Irish Saints, wryly remarks ' Not inappropriately, Tuán's feast fell on 1 April'....

St. Tuan, of Tamlacht, County of Down.

The Bollandists record,"Tuanus filius Carilli," in their collection, at this date, and they quote as authority, the Irish Calendar next mentioned. The Martyrology of Tallagh, at the 1st of April, inserts the name of Tuan, son of Cairill. This saint is said to have been called Ruanus, by Giraldus Cambrensis; yet, we do not find any warrant for such an assertion, although, indeed, that writer has an account of a Ruanus, who is reported to have survived a great pestilence, which devastated Ireland, A.M. 2820. The incredible statement is made, that he survived to the time of St. Patrick, who baptized him, and that he lived to be 1,500 years old, when he died. This is one of the many fables, with which Giraldus Cambrensis was pleased to overload his writings. According to the Martyrology of Donegal, Tuan, son of Coirell, of Tamlachta, in Boirche, had veneration paid him, at this date. The previous identification serves, for this particular locality.

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