Monday 7 March 2016

Saint Mocelloc in the Life of Saint Declan of Ardmore

March 7 is the feast of Saint Mocelloc of Magh-Scethe, a hermit said to have been a contemporary of the famous Saint Declan of Ardmore. He and his fellow hermits feature in the Life of Saint Declan:

Their first appearance is as witnesses of the miraculous fiery globe of light which heralded the saint's birth and as prophets of his future greatness:

There were seven men dwelling in Magh Sgiath, who frequently saw the fiery globe which it has been already told they first beheld at the time of Declan's birth. It happened by the Grace of God that they were the first persons to reveal and describe that lightning. These seven came to the place where Declan abode and took him for their director and master. They made known publicly in the presence of all that, later on, he should be a bishop and they spoke prophetically:—‘The day, O beloved child and servant of God, will come when we shall commit ourselves and our lands to thee.’ And it fell out thus (as they foretold), for, upon believing, they were baptised and became wise, devout and attentive and erected seven churches in honour of God around Magh Sgiath.

In the second extract, the names of the holy men, including that of Mocelloc are listed:

Once on a time Declan came on a visit to the place of his birth, where he remained forty days there and established a religious house in which devout men have dwelt ever since. Then came the seven men we have already mentioned as having made their abode around Magh Sgiath and as having prophesied concerning Declan. They now dedicated themselves and their establishment to him as they had promised and these are their names:—Mocellac and Riadan, Colman, Lactain, Finnlaoc, Kevin, etc. These therefore were under the rule and spiritual sway of bishop Declan thenceforward, and they spent their lives devoutly there and wrought many wonders afterwards.

P.Power, ed. and trans., The Life of Saint Declan of Ardmore, (London, 1914), 15, 23.

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