Wednesday 4 August 2021

A Legend of Saint Molua


August 4 is the feast of Saint Molua, an entry on whose life can be found here. Below, is a charming vignette from the Irish Celtic Revival scholar, Maud Joynt (1868-1940), which records the grief of a little bird at the saint's passing:


ONCE there lived in Ireland a saint called Molua son of Ocha, who loved all living creatures and was of all living creatures beloved. On the day of his death it chanced that a certain holy man, Maelanfair son of Anfadach, was walking in the woods and he saw a little bird perched on a bough and making great lamentation.

"Oh, my God," said he, "what can have happened? I will not taste food till it be revealed to me!"

 Then an angel appeared to him and said: "Be no longer troubled, O cleric. Molua the son of Ocha is dead and all living creatures bewail him; for he loved everything that lives and breathes, and throughout his life he never killed any creature, great or small; wherefore men mourn not more for him than do the beasts and the little bird thou seest yonder."

Maud Joynt, The Golden Legends of the Gael, (Dublin, n.d.), Part II, 81.

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