Tuesday 27 January 2015

Saint Cróine, January 27

January 27 is the feastday of an early female saint, Cróine, one of many Irish saints to have been recorded on the Irish calendars, but who has left no Vita to give further details of her life. As Canon O'Hanlon explains, there is even no certainty as to the locality in which she may have flourished, the Martyrology of Tallaght identifying her with Inuse Lochacrone which may suggest a County Sligo location, and the 19th-century scholar John O'Donovan placing her at Kilcroney, County Wicklow. The latest work on the Irish saints, Pádraig Ó Riain's 2011 Dictionary of Irish Saints, places her instead at the County Carlow location of Ardnehue (Ceall Inghean nAodha) and sees her as one of three daughters of Aodh. Ó Riain acknowledges the confusion of this holy lady with others of the same name, including Cróine of Inis Cróine, who may be one of a number of possible doubles.

St. Croine, Virgin, of Kill-Crony, in the County of Wicklow, or at Inishcrone, County of Sligo.

A festival in honour of Croni of Inuse Lochacrone is entered in the Martyrology of Tallagh, at the 27th of January. The locality named is possibly identical with the present Inishcrone, near the River Moy, in Tireragh barony, county of Sligo. A strong castle of Eiscir-Abhann, stood here. Inishcrone town, with the ruined church and graveyard, is in the parish of Kilglass, and near the rocky shore, at Killala Bay. Again, there was a Cill-Cruain, now Kilcrone, an old church, giving name to a townland and parish in the barony of Ballymoe, in the county of Galway. We find that Croine, virgin, of Cill Croine, is recorded, likewise, in the Martyrology of Donegal, on this day. She is of the race of Máine, son of Niall. Her place has been identified with Kill-crony, in the county of Wicklow, and as giving no name to a modern parochial district, it may have been denominated from the establishment of a cell or nunnery here, by the present saint, while possibly clerical ministrations had been supplied by the religious community or pastor, living at Kilmacanoge, in remote times. More we cannot glean regarding this holy woman yet, we may conjecture, she must have flourished at a very early period.

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