Thursday 18 June 2015

The Blessed Aidus Hua-Foirreth, June 18

On June 18 Canon O'Hanlon brings a brief account of a tenth/eleventh century cleric of Armagh, Aidus Hua-Foirreth. He is distinguished from most of the other holy men who appear on this blog in that his name is not recorded on the calendars of the Irish saints but rather in the Irish Annals. The Annals of the Four Masters record:

The Age of Christ, 1056. Aedh Ua Foirreidh, chief lector and distinguished Bishop of Ard-Macha, died on the 14th of the Calends of July, in the  seventy-fifth year of his age, as is said: 
Of brilliant fame while he lived was 
Aedh O'Foirreidh the aged sage ; 
On the fourteenth of the Calends of July, 
This mild bishop passed to heaven.

Canon O'Hanlon cannot add much more detail except to acknowledge the role played by the great seventeenth-century hagiologist, Father John Colgan, in flagging up the memory of this learned bishop:

The Blessed Aidus Hua-Foirreth. [Tenth and Eleventh Centuries]

In his Appendix to the Acts of St. Patrick, Colgan has introduced the name of the Blessed Aidus Hua-Foirreth, chief scholastic, and bishop of Armagh, or rather suffragan, who died on this day. But that  writer adds little more, which might give a clue to his identity, except that he died A.D. 1056, in the seventy-fifth year of his age. The Bollandists, following Colgan's statement, notice him, at the 18th of June.

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