Saturday 27 June 2015

Saint Senic, June 27

I found myself intrigued by the enigmatic reference to the name of Senic, commemorated on June 27. Canon O'Hanlon writes precisely two lines on him, including the detail that his name is Latinized to Seneca. I can add only two further details - first, his name does not appear on the earlier Martyrologies of Tallaght and Oengus and secondly, he is not the only saint of this name to be commemorated on the later Irish calendars. There is also a feast of Saint Senic recorded on November 10 in both the twelfth-century Martyrology of Gorman and subsequently in the Martyrology of Donegal. Whether this is a secondary feast for today's holy man or whether there was another saint of the same name whose feast fell in November, I have no way of finding out. I also found a reference to a Senic Óg in the Annals of Loch Cé in 1407 and this note:
Senic (or Senicin) the Younger. He was apparently the son of Senicin (Jenkin) Savage who was slain in 1374, as above recorded.
So I am left with some questions about the origins of this name. It sounds from the above note that it may be a Norman name, which might explain why it does not occur in the earlier Irish calendars. Canon O'Hanlon's brief account below cannot help to shed any further light on this elusive saint:

St. Senic.

A festival in honour of Senic is found entered in the Martyrology of Donegal, at the 27th of June. His name is also rendered Seneca, in the table appended to this work.

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