Thursday 10 May 2018

Saint Cathaldus of Taranto, May 10

May 10 is the feast of an interesting Irish saint whose memory is still cherished today in Italy - Saint Cathaldus of Taranto. I have previously published Father J.F. Hogan's account of his life which is available here, but below is a brief reminder of the career of Saint Cathaldus taken from the children's column of an American Catholic magazine:

Our Future Men and Women.

Irish Saints in Italy.

Uncle Jack wonders if his Future Men and Women know, as well as they ought to, that the traces of Irish saints are found in many parts of the European continent. In Italy, particularly from the foot of the Appenines down to the island of Sicily, the footprints of the saints of Ireland are clear to all. St. Cataldo, for instance, who founded the see of Taranto, and whose feast is celebrated on May 10-his name does not sound like an Irish name, yet he was an Irish saint, Cataldo or Cataldus being the Latin form of Cahal which was the saint's name in Ireland. P. L. Connellan, writing from Italy, says: In Taranto, on the tenth of May, the feast of this Irish saint is held with great ceremony. The people come in from the surrounding country in their holiday attire, while the fishermen are conspicuous in the crowds. They regard him as the great Sailor-Bishop, whom their ancestors asked, as the popular tradition has it, for abundance in their fisheries, and since that time the mor piccolo, or little sea, has been a source of life to them. And they say that the saint dropped a ring into the sea, and no one could find it again, but in the place where it fell the salt water became fresh and clear. And whoever goes in a boat even now out into the Mar Grande, or larger gulf, will find a circle of fresh water over a yard in diameter, of a clear azure color, and everyone may drink of it and quench his thirst. The Tarentines call this circle of fresh water the Ring of San Cataldo. In Supino, on the way to Naples, a tiny town stuck on the side of the mountain, the same Irish saint is held in veneration by the people. Hia name is also given to a city on the Adriatic coast on the heel of the bootshaped peninsula of Italy. At Adassa, outside of Sorrento, you meet with a chapel, richly adorned, dedicated under his name. One of the most exquisite twelfth century Romanesque churches in Palermo—now abandoned and maintained as a national monument—also bears his name. So that around the South of Italy his memory is prominent, not only in the places already mentioned, but in so many other towns, that the list of them alone would fill many pages. He is perhaps even more known in this district than his fellow-countryman, San Frediano, is in Lucca and the many towns which surround that Tuscan city.

The Sacred Heart Review, Number 1, 22 June 1912 
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