Tuesday 4 February 2020

Saint Cota of Druim Lomain, February 4

February 4 is the feast day of two saints whose names are linked together in the Irish calendars. I have previously posted on the first of the duo, Saint Corc, here and now turn to the saint with whom his name is joined, Cota. The Martyrology of Tallaght records: Corc et Cota o Druinn (Corc and Cota from Druinn). Canon O'Hanlon, however, believes the placename Druinn is a misspelling of the more common Druim and that like Corc, Cota too was from Druim Lomain:

St. Cota, of Druim, or Druim Lomain.

In the Martyrology of Tallagh, this entry occurs under the designation of Cota of Druinn, at the 4th of February. With this saint is also joined Corc. A gloss on the Martyrology of Marianus O'Gorman states, that both Cota and Corc are of Drum Lomain, or Drum Lommain. Under any form of this local designation, it is not easily determined. It seems to be Colgan's opinion, that St. Cota or Cotana, venerated on this day, may possibly be identified with a holy virgin Cathnea, who flourished in the times of St. Patrick, and, who, with her three brothers, Cathaseus, Cathurus, and Cathneus, lived at a church, built near a place, called "the shallow of the two forks."  This place seems to have been situated, not far from Tailtein, supposed to have been identified with Telltown in Meath. So angelic and innocent was this holy virgin, that the wild deer became tame, and suffered themselves to be milked by her hands. We find the commemoration of a St. Cota set down in the Martyrology of Donegal, as having been venerated on this day. Nothing very certain can be predicated, regarding this saint's time, place and Acts.

 The Placenames Database of Ireland has various entries for places called Droim Lomáin in an assortment of different Irish counties. Which, if any, of them may be the site associated with this saintly pair seems impossible to say. Similarly, without further supporting evidence there seems no reason to accept Colgan's identification of Cota with the female saint of Meath.

So, it would seem that once again the shroud of obscurity that covers so many of our native saints prevents us from knowing as much as we would like about both Saints Corc and Cota, but at least their names are not forgotten.

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