Tuesday 21 April 2020

Irish Saints' Names - April

Recently while browsing the digitized newspaper collection at the National Library of Australia I came across a series of articles on Irish Saints' names, written to promote the idea that Irish parents should give their children the names of our native holy men and women. This is a not uncommon theme in the popular religious literature of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, especially that aimed at an Irish expatriate audience. Whilst I am fully supportive of the desire to preserve the names of the Irish saints, I am left wondering how many prospective parents actually followed these suggestions, particularly in the case of the more obscure saints. It is one thing to lecture an Irish-American reader on why no true Irish maiden should be ashamed to bear the name of Saint Brigid, but did the writer of this article really imagine that a poor Irish immigrant was going to name his son Ceannfaelad or Indreactae? Yet in our present age of reenactment, role-playing and Game of Thrones, these ancient names have acquired a certain cachet once again. The newspaper articles on the Irish saints' names are laid out on a monthly basis, so we can start with the selection for April, and an interesting selection it is too:

Irish Saints' Names.
There are many who think that the Irish saints are only a few, and so their choice of names for their children is very small. Week by week, a list will be given. The name will be spelt as in Irish and the English equivalent will be given in brackets. The sex is marked m. for males, and f. for females. Only one name is given for each day, but more could he given. Year of death as below.

1. Aodan (Aidan), m.
2. Bronac (Brona). f., Glenshesk. Antrim.
3. Faolan (Faelan), m.. Iona, 724.
4. Tigearnac (Tigearnach), bp. Clones, 549
5. Beacan (Becan), m., Fircall, King's Co.
6. Cronan Beag (Cronan), m., Clonmacnoise, 692.
7. Ceallac (Kellach), m., Armagh, 1149; feast also on August 5.
8. Ceannfaelad (Kennealy), m.. Bangor, 705.
9. Aedac (Aeda), m.
10. Bearcan (Berchan), m., Eigg, Scotland.
11. Ailioll (Elill), m., Cologne, Germany.
12. Emin (Evin), bp.
13. Mocaemoc (Kaevan), m., feast also on March 13.
14. Tassac (Tassa), bp. Raholp, Co. Down.
15. Ruadan (Ruan), abbot of Lorrah, Tipperary, 584.
16. Miolan (Melan), m.
17. Donnan (Donnan), m., Eigg, 617.
18. Laisre (Laisrin). m., Leighlin, 639.
19. Cillene (Killeen), m.
20. Sedrac (Sedra), m.
21. Bearac (Berach). m., Bangor. 664.
22. Lucan (Luchan), m.
23. Ibar (Ibar), bp., Begeri Island, Wexford.
24. Flann (Flann), m., Iona. 891.
25. Maccaille (Maughold), bp., Isle of Man, 489.
26. Indreactae (Inreachty), m. Bangor, 901.
27. Leccan (Lecan), m., Iona.
28. Caoman (Caevan), m., Iona.
29. Domangan (Domangan), m., Muskerry.
30. Ronan (Ronan), m., Louth.

Southern Cross, Friday, 3 April 1914, page 19.

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