Monday 22 August 2022

The Holy Wells of Achill Island


Holy wells played a large part in the preservation of the memories of the saints of Ireland, acting not only as sites where their intercession could be sought, particularly for healing, but as the focal point for the celebration of a saint's 'pattern' or feast day. They are found throughout the country, including on Ireland's off-shore islands. Below is a brief account of three of the holy wells of Achill Island, County Mayo, from a 1910 work by P.W. Joyce. The first seems to be connected to a Saint Damnet and attracted pilgrims on August 15. The second is linked to Saint Colman, who sought refuge in the west of Ireland at 'Mayo of the Saxons' following the adoption of the Roman date of Easter. Joyce records that this well too was still being visited by Achill's older people in his day. The final one is equally interesting and illustrates many of the difficulties associated with the attribution of holy wells to specific saints in folk tradition.  It is known as Saint Finan's well but Joyce is doubtful about this, I presume his remarks on the placing of a well-known prefix, in this case mo, 'my' to many saints' names explains how the Minan cliffs have been interpreted as deriving from 'Mo Finan', which he feels may be 'fanciful philology'. Instead he offers an intriguing alternative explanation concerning a former parish priest and his remarkable saddle horse! Interestingly, the Connaught Telegraph of August 8, 2022 carried a report that the holy wells of Mayo are to be surveyed by archaeologists so perhaps we can learn more of those on Achill Island in the near future:


We take the liberty of introducing the reader to the holy wells in Achill, which show that this storm-swept island was not untrodden by the saints of ancient Ireland.

There is a holy well at Kildownett, hard by the graveyard, which a tradition, but a very faint one, connects with a St. Damnet. It is still visited by pilgrims on the 15th of August. There is also one of more note at Sliabh More, called after St. Colman, the patron of Dukinella church. Probably St. Colman may have crossed over from Inish Boffin to Achill Island, in search of a suitable site for a monastery, wherein to segregate the Saxon monks who followed him and his Irish disciples from Lindisfarne. The Celts and Saxons seemed to have found it more  difficult to practice the evangelical counsels, living under the same roof. Accordingly, their prudent founder, St. Colman, left the Celts in possession of Irish Boffin and went in search of a monastic site for the Saxon brethren. He at length succeeded in founding a monastery at Mayo, which was called Mayo of the Saxons. The old people still make pilgrimages to St. Colman's well.

The third and last, which we wish particularly to describe, is situated in a scene of solitude and beauty close by the Cathedral Rocks in the Keel strand. It was, indeed, a happy thought to make it holy. The wonders of nature around, mountain majesty and thundering sea, make fitting scene for the wonders of grace; for the voice of the mountains and the voice of the sea seem to have suggested to all  the sages thoughts of the "great beyond." The sea here, especially, preaches a beautiful sermon to one who may choose to listen and: 

"Wander by the pebbly beach,
Marking the sunlight at the evening hour,
And hearken to the thoughts the waters teach - 
Eternity, eternity and power."

The well is situated under the shadow of the Minan cliffs, and is named St. Finan's well. The tradition is that St. Finan gave his name, not only to the well, but to the mountain also, which should be properly called Finan's cliff. Perhaps the practice of our fathers who placed a well-known prefix before the names of many of our saints, may explain the difficulty of deriving the modern name from Finan. This, however, is probably fanciful philology, and the usual explanation remembered by the very old people to have been parish priest of the island, and the possessor of a wonderful saddle horse, that braved every danger by night as well as by day. 

 P.W. Joyce, A Forgotten Part of Ireland, (Tuam, 1910),  58-62.

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Tuesday 9 August 2022

The Three Daughters of Ailill, August 9

The Martyrology of Tallaght, one of the earliest of the Irish calendars, lists at August 9 the feast of Tri ingena Ailella - the three daughters of Ailill. Such groupings of saintly siblings are a feature of the Irish calendars, indeed these holy ladies share their day with Cethri meic Ercain - the four sons of Ercan and Ceithre meic Dimmain - the four sons of Dioman. We are unable to learn any more about the identities of the individuals who comprise the group of Ailill's daughters, nor when or where they flourished. In Volume VIII of his Lives of the Irish Saints Canon O'Hanlon gives this brief account, noting that the Tallaght calendar is the sole source for the feast of Ailell's daughters as they are not listed on the Martyrology of Donegal, compiled by Michael O'Clery and his associates in the seventeenth century: 

Article III. Tri h. Inghena Ailalla. 

Written in this manner, we have a festival entered in the Martyrology of Tallagh, as edited by the Rev. Dr. Kelly; although we find no corresponding entry, at this day, in the Martyrology of Donegal, edited by Drs. Todd and Reeves.

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Monday 8 August 2022

Saint Beoán of Feighcullen, August 8


August 8 is the feast of Saint Beoán of Feighcullen, County Kildare. His feast is found on all of the Irish calendars and his name also preserved in genealogical sources. There he is described as one of the seven sons of Neasán from the Uí Fhaoláin branch of the important north Leinster tribe of the Uí Dhúnlainge. Three of his brothers have their own feast on the Irish calendars at March 15. Fiodh Cuilinn, the locality associated with Beoán, is modern Feighcullen, and some of the sources record that Saint Beoán was bishop there. Canon O'Hanlon brings this account of him in Volume VIII of his Lives of the Irish Saints:

Article III. St. Beoan, son of Nessan, of Feigh Cullen, County of Kildare. 
According to the Martyrology of Tallagh, veneration was given at the 8th of August to Beoan mic Nessan, in Fidh Cullend. St. Beoan, the son of Nessan, is commemorated, on this day, likewise, in the "Feilire" of St. Aengus. There is a scholion annexed, stating that he was of Fid Cuillinn in Ui-Foelain. It is now called Feighcullen, a parish, partly in the Barony of East Ophaly, but chiefly in that of Connell, County of Kildare. It contains a large tract of bog. The O'Clerys state, that he was the son of Neassan, and that he sprung from the race of Cathaoir Mor, of Leinster. Near the Hill of Allen, in the County of Kildare, Feigh-Cullen was the site of an ancient church, the ruins of which existed within the memory of some still living. The rude Baptismal trough, used at this church in primitive Christian times, is now preserved at Allen. In a field adjoining the church, the foundation of an extensive building can be traced, regarding which, however, history and tradition are silent. A Beoan is set down as a disciple of St. Patrick, but his place was Kill-fiacle in Tipperary; so that he to appears have been distinct from the present saint. The Martyrology of Donegal records him at the 8th of August as Beoan, Bishop of Fidh Chuilinn, in Ui Failge. In the Calendar of Drummond, he is entered at the same date. In conjunction with two other saints bearing the same name, we find a peculiar arrangement, in the table postfixed to this Martyrology [see picture above].

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Sunday 7 August 2022

Saint Aedhán, son of Meallán, August 7

August 7 is the feast of one of the many Irish saints called Aedhán (Aodhán, Aiden). Today's saint is distinguished by the use of a patronymic, for he is described on the calendars as the son of Meallán. Unfortunately this does not help us to identify any other information about him, as Canon O'Hanlon explains:  
Article IV. St. Aedhan, Son of Meallan. 
The Martyrology of Donegal records a festival to honour Aedhan, son of Meallan, at the 7th of August. His patronymic only enables us to distinguish him from the various other Irish saints bearing a like name; but, his period and locality seem to be unknown.

Although Canon O'Hanlon has referenced only the seventeenth-century Martyrology of Donegal, the name of Aedhán, son of Meallán is also found on the twelfth-century Martyrology of Gorman. There he is  referred to as 'slender Aedán'. His name, however, is not found on the two earliest surviving calendars, the Martyrology of Oengus and the Martyrology of Tallaght.


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Saturday 6 August 2022

The Feast of the Transfiguration in the Martyrology of Oengus

August 6 is the day on which the Feast of the Transfiguration is celebrated throughout the Universal Church. However, it was not always so, as a German ecclesiastical historian explains: 

From quite an early date, this festival had been celebrated in divers churches, both East and West, on different days. The date now observed, the 6th August, was appointed for the festival by Calixtus III. in 1457, in memory of the victory over the Turks, gained by John Capistran and George Hunyadi, at Belgrade. In the choice of a day, he seems to have been influenced by the Greek calendar, where the festival had already been kept on this day.
K.A. Heinrich Kellner, Heortology: A History Of The Christian Festivals From Their Origin To The Present Day (London, 1908), 105.
One of those different days is found on the early ninth-century Irish calendar, The Martyrology of Oengus. Here the Feast of the Transfiguration is commemorated on July 26, as Canon O'Hanlon noted in his entries for this day in Volume VII of the Lives of the Irish Saints:

Article IV. Festival of Christ's Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. 

According to the "Feilire" of St. Aengus, at the 26th of July, the Feast of the Transfiguration of our Divine Lord on Mount Tabor was commemorated in the ancient Irish Church. To this a comment is found affixed. In the Bruxelles copy of Usuard this Feast is also set down, and while the Bollandists give the text, they express ignorance of the source whence it had been drawn, but they refer to the 6th of August as the chief Festival held in the Universal Church.

26. At the passion of Jovianus 
with his fair train of pure gold
was the Transfiguration, at daybreak, 
of  Jesus on Mount Tabor.

 The accompanying note reads:

26. on Mount Tabor, i.e. in the tribe of Nephthalim, on a mountain of Galilee. Transfiguration of Christ etc.

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Friday 5 August 2022

Saint Earnán of Cloonrallagh, August 5

On August 5/6  the Irish calendars record the feast of Saint Earnán (Eirne, Eirnín) of Cloonrallagh. He is yet another of those Irish saints whose names are preserved along with the date of their feast days, but about whom no other details survive. The name Earnán is shared by a number of Irish saints which does not make the task of identifying the specific individual commemorated today any easier. Canon O'Hanlon in Volume VIII of his Lives of the Irish Saints seeks to associate him with Saint Colum Cille and the Columban family of County Meath:
Article IV. — St. Erne, or Ernin, of Cluana Railgech or Cluain railgheach, probably in the County of Meath.

The Martyrology of Tallagh registers Erne, of Cluana Railgech, at the 6th of August. This place bore also the denomination of Druim Relgrach, and it was situated in the territory of ancient Meath. Marianus O'Gorman furnishes an authority for this statement. This saint assisted at the great synod of Dromceat, held A.D. 580. By one writer we are informed, that St. Ernin was Abbot of Cluain Reilgeach or Druim Reilgeach, in the time of St. Columb, and that he was honoured there on the 5th day of August. This writer, treating of the religious establishments in Westmeath, yet places Cluain Reilgeach or Druim Reilgeach, in Kianechta, a territory of ancient Meath; but, he adds, that the place was probably in Meath, although now unknown. A certain Cruimther Collait is mentioned as having been from Druim Roilgech, as being one of the learned in Erinn, and as being a writer, among others, of St. Patrick's miracles.  The Rev. Dr. Lanigan also alludes to the same Collatus, a priest of Druim-relgeach in Meath; but, no more particular identification of the place is given by him. This monastery, as we are told, was situated in ancient Meath. Probably it was in the neighbourhood of Duleek. Such is the identification of Rev. Anthony Cogan, diocesan ecclesiastical historian. The present saint is commemorated by Cathal Maguire and by Marianus O'Gorman. We find it recorded, likewise, in the Martyrology of Donegal, at the 5th of August, that veneration was given to Ernin of Cluain Railgheach.

Pádraig Ó Riain's 2011 Dictionary of Irish Saints mentions the genealogical sources linking him to Fearghas Caochán, brother of Niall of the Nine Hostages, whose descendants are linked to the church of Kilskeer, near Kells. He also suggests Cloonrallagh may be in County Longford or in County Westmeath.


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Thursday 4 August 2022

The Angel of Saint Lugith

August 4 is the feast of Saint Molua of Kyle. I have previously posted an account of his life here, but today we have a reminder of his many miracles in an 1878 article reprinted from The Messenger of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Messenger, official magazine of the Apostleship of Prayer, was originally founded in France in the mid-nineteenth century but quickly spread to the English-speaking world.  The article below was part of a series called 'The Angelic Year' in which episodes from saints' lives which featured the presence of angels were highlighted. Our Saint Molua, here called Lugith, was chosen for the month of August. Various versions of the Life of Saint Molua have survived and provided a wealth of material for the article's theme. Angels are found in the Lives of many Irish saints, most famously perhaps in that of Saint Patrick whose guardian angel is named as Victor. It is also commonplace in hagiography for the saint's holiness to be apparent from his earliest days and there are a number of miracles from the childhood of Molua cited in the article. Another stock element is the passing by of a noteworthy saint who recognizes the potential in the holy child and either predicts his future greatness or claims him as a protégé. Thus we see Saint Comgall (called Cougall here), founder of the monastery of Bangor in County Down, call the young Molua to be his disciple. Aspects of medieval hagiography can appear bizarre to the modern reader and we may wonder, for example, at the curious episode where Saint Molua equates the presence of sheep with that of women. Yet this is a confirmation that care of sheep was women's work in early medieval Ireland, with the Life of Saint Brigid, for example, depicting Ireland's patroness acting as a shepherdess in her early days. But it is the presence of the angel guiding and guarding Molua in life and in death which draws together all of the episodes the anonymous writer in The Messenger has chosen to honour this most interesting saint on his feast day:

 The Angel of St. Lugith.
Lugith was born, about the year 520, of very pious parents, near Mount Logher, on the west bank of the Shannon, in Ireland. He was the youngest of three sons, but the most richly endowed with heavenly gifts. The divine predilection for him was first manifested on the following occasion: His father's flocks, having strayed into a neighbor's pastures, were taken and put in pound, whereupon Sochte, Lugith's mother, went to reclaim them, taking her infant son with her. Now it happened that this neighbor had for a long time been afflicted with acancer in the breast. When Lugith entered his house, God permitted him  to see the child all surrounded with light. "Oh!" said he, "bring that child here and let him put his little hands on my head." Sochte, who carried Lugith in her arms, approached the sufferer; but the child being frightened at the excitement and groans of the sick man, began to cry when he saw his arms stretched out towards him; and while his mother, notwithstanding his resistance, was holding him over the invalid, a few of his tears fell on the cancer and immediately cured it. The cattle were restored and Sochte returned home with a joyful heart.

When Lugith was somewhat older he used to go to the fields with other children to watch the sheep. During the winter they would make a fire and gather merrily around it. One day they had lit a fire near the bed of a dried-up stream and were warming themselves by it, when suddenly a torrent, formed by the rains which had fallen higher up the country, came rushing along overflowing the banks, and extinguished the fire. Lugith ran away taking with him a brand to light a fire somewhere else; but the brand, too, went out. While the child stood looking sadly at the extinguished brand which he held in his hand, an angel appeared at his side and made the sign of the cross over it. The brand forthwith blazed up and Lugith and his companions lit another fire and warmed themselves around it.
At another time Lugith disappeared, and for a day and a night no traces of him could be found. At length, his father, Carthach, found him asleep in a field, but did not dare approach him because he saw standing near him a beautiful young man clad in white, and from the spot where the child slept there issued a fragrance sweeter than the perfume of the choicest flowers. Carthach ran to call the priests, and when one of them came, the angel vanished and the child awoke. From that day forth all earthly food lost its savor to this priest, from the impression he retained of the sweet odor embalming the innocent child.

Another day, while charged with keeping the calves apart from the cows, Lugith fell asleep again. It is needless to say that the calves and cows were soon together. Sochte perceiving this ran in all haste to awaken Lugith, and in her anger had raised her hand to strike him, when the guardian angel of the child seized her arm and stayed the stroke. Fainting with fear she fell prostrate to the ground, and Lugith ran to drive back his calves.

Being at another time at a short distance from his father and mother, but without any playmates, there came three youths and began to play with him. Joining their hands together and supporting Lugith on them, the youths, in sight of Carthach and Sochte, ascended to the skies and disappeared from view. For a great part of the day they saw nothing of him; but all of a sudden, while his afflicted parents were lamenting and praying, the three youths laid Lugith down before his mother.

About this time the holy priest Cougall was passing through that country. As he drew near the abode of Lugith's parents, he suddenly stopped, and pointing towards a certain field, he said to the monks who accompanied him: "Go and see what is down there." On reaching the field the monks found Lugith asleep in a clump of rushes, and noticed that at every breath he drew the rushes near his mouth were enveloped in flame. They awoke Lugith and brought him to the holy priest. Cougall sent for his parents and asked them if they were willing to let the child go with him, saying that he would rear and educate him. Carthach and Sochte accepted the offer with thanks, and Lugith followed St. Cougall to the monastery. One day while the child was learning his letters, St. Cougall saw an angel seated by his side and helping him to spell and encouraging him with caresses to overcome his dislike for his task.

One day when he was sent to the farm to bring the daily supply of milk to the monastery, the horse stumbled and the milk was all spilled. He was looking at the spilled milk in great distress of mind and not knowing what to do, when his guardian angel appeared and said to him: "Fill the vessels with water at yonder spring." As the water was poured in it was changed into milk, and that day the monks wondered much at the exquisite flavor of the milk which Lugith brought.

A long time after this it was the will of God that Lugith himself should become a founder of monasteries. Accompanied by some monks and taking with him five cows, he set out towards his mother's country. Here he was badly received and was considering whither he should next go, when his guardian angel told him to turn his steps towards Rosbilech. The following night an angel appeared in a dream to a rich man of Rosbilech named Bledue, and said to him: "To-morrow a monk will come hither driving five white cows with yellow ears; thou shalt offer him thy possessions, for thou shalt be a religious in his monastery." But Lugith, having heard the bleating of a sheep in the place, said to his brethren: "We shall not remain here, for where there are sheep there also are women; and where there are women, there also is sin; where there is sin, there is the devil; and where the devil is, there is hell; " and he sought a more solitary place.
One day while he was looking at a barren mountain near his monastery, his guardian angel said to him: “If thou wish it, that mountain shall become a fertile land covered with harvests and all shall be thine." “No", blessed angel," replied Lugith, "my brethren would then lose their humility." "Brethren," he used to say to his religious, "labor faithfully with your hands and nothing shall be wanting to you, and you shall become true religious."

When Lugith perceived that his end was approaching he went to visit St. Cronan, and at his departure asked for a consecrated host that he might communicate on the way. He had not travelled far when he was obliged to stop from fatigue. Turning to the monk who accompanied him, "Brother," said he, "if you saw on the one side the inhabitants of heaven and on the other those of earth, to which side would you go ?" "To the side of the inhabitants of heaven, without doubt," replied the Brother." Then give me the Blessed Eucharist that I may go to them," cried Lugith, and shortly after communion, he passed away. His death took place on Saturday, August 4, 602.

It was revealed to the Blessed Fintan that for the seven days following the death of Lugith there was extraordinary rejoicing in heaven, and an assuagement of the pains of purgatory. The occasion of this revelation to St. Fintan was the following: His guardian angel was wont to visit him twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays; but at this time he did not visit him for seven consecutive days. When Fintan saw his angel again on Sunday, the 12th of August, "Why," said he, “O angel of God, didst thou not come to me on Thursday?" "During the week just passed," replied the angel, "the angels have not visited the saints on earth; a great friend of God has come to heaven from the land of Erin, and all remained to greet him: his name is Lugith.” "I see," rejoined Fintan, "that Lugith singly has done more for the glory of God than all the rest together; find out for me in heaven, good angel, what has made Lugith so pleasing to God and to his guardian angel." An instant later the angel reappeared and said to him: "Lugith mingled sweetness and love with the rigor of his correctness, and he never humbled any of his brethren that he did not also give him new courage; as for thee, thou art too harsh with thine."
Lugith, while guardian of his brethren, had imitated the sweetness and charity of the angel who guarded himself. The angels are perfect imitators of Jesus; those who imitate their angels will find themselves at the last day living copies of Jesus.

'The Angelic Year: August - The Angel of St Lugith',  The Messenger of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Second Series Vol. 5, No. 8 (1878),  356-358.

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Wednesday 3 August 2022

Saint Aodhán of Clontarf, August 3


On August 3 the Irish calendars record the name of Saint Aodhán of Clontarf. Although there are no other details of the saint as an individual, the location associated with him remains rather more problematic. For most people the name Clontarf will automatically suggest Cluain Tarbh, the County Dublin location of Brian Boru's famous battle in the year 1014. Clearly this is the case for Canon O'Hanlon, whose entry below is illustrated by a picture of the Dublin suburb which he identifies as the place associated with our saint.  He admits, however, that a degree of confusion has been introduced by the fact that some of the later Irish calendars have associated Saint Aodhán with a locality called Cluain Cairbre (Carberry): 

Article VIII. — St. Aodhan, of Cluain Tarbh, or Clontarf. 

In the published Martyrology of Tallagh, this saint is called Aedhan Cluana Tarbh. This latter place is the celebrated village of Clontarf, lying on the north shore, at the entrance to the River Liffey, and near the City of Dublin. To this historic place— on the ancient plain called Magh n-Elta — allusion has been already made, in the Life of the Blessed Bryan Boroimha, King of Munster, Monarch of Ireland, and Martyr. It should now be a matter of great difficulty to decide, where exactly the former church of Clontarf had been located. The houses in that village range in a low situation along the coast, but they have a picturesque appearance from the Bay of Dublin, especially as woods recede in the background. According to the Martyrology of the O'Clerys of Donegal, a festival was celebrated at the 3rd of August, to honour St. Aodhan, of Cluain Cairpre. On what authority this denomination has been substituted for Cluain Tarbh, we cannot discover. There are various districts in Ireland called Carberry, and a still greater number of places known as Cluain or Cloon, either simply or in composition. But among over nine hundred places, so designated on the Ordnance Survey Maps of Ireland, we can find none corresponding with Cluain Cairpre which seems to indicate, that the O'Clerys have set it down through a mistake.

 Finally, Pádraig Ó Riain in his Dictionary of Irish Saints suggests another possibility, one of the two County Mayo townlands called Cloontarriff which is also an anglicization of Cluain Tarbh.

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Tuesday 2 August 2022

Saint Lonan, son of Laisre, August 2


On August 2, the Irish calendars record the name of 'Lonan, son of Laisre' but without any further details as to when or where he flourished. The task of identifying this saint is not made any easier by the fact that there are eleven holy men who share this name in the List of Homonymous Saints. Canon O'Hanlon can thus only bring a very brief mention of Saint Lonan in Volume VIII of his Lives of the Irish Saints and notes that errors can be inadvertently introduced into the records, just to add to the confusion:

Article IV. — St. Lonan, Son of Laisre. 

The Martyrologies of Tallagh  and of Donegal record a festival at the 2nd of August, to honour Lonan, son of Laisre. In the table appended to this latter record, the compiler sets down a Lonan, son of Laisre, at the 20th of August; but, the commentator remarks under it, that he is not mentioned in the Martyrology at such a date. Yet, as he is mentioned at August 2nd, the 20th of this same month is probably an error of some transcriber.

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Monday 1 August 2022

Saint Sárán of Bangor, August 1

The holy valiant deeds 
Of sacred fathers.
Based on the matchless
Church of Bangor;
The noble deeds of abbots,
Their number, times, and names,
Of never-ending lustre—
Hear, brothers, great their desert,
Whom the Lord hath gathered
To the mansions of His heavenly kingdom.

Thus does the hymn 'Commemoration of our Abbots', preserved in the Bangor Antiphonary begin. August 1 is the feast day of one of those abbots, Sárán, who exercised his authority over the monastery at Bangor, County Down in the eighth century. Bangor, famous for its tradition of laus perennis (unceasing praise), was founded in the mid-sixth century by Saint Comgall. This spiritual and intellectual powerhouse produced a number of important saints including Saint Columbanus and the famous reckoner of the computus, Mo-Sinnu (Sillán), hailed as the 'renowned teacher of the world' in the hymn in praise of the abbots. In his entry for today's saint below, taken from Volume VIII of his Lives of the Irish Saints, Canon O'Hanlon brings us the evidence from the calendars and annals which date Abbot Sárán's career. He also mentions an 1871 paper in an antiquarian journal whose author tries to link our Bangor abbot to the County Louth townland of Kilsaran. I looked at this reference for myself and the author does indeed simply assert that 'The parochial name Kilsaran, Cill-Saran, recalls S. Saran, Abbot of Beannchair, Co Down, whose death is recorded by the "Four Masters", A.D. 742'. However, the Bangor abbot is but one of a number of Irish saints who bear this name and there is no reason to  automatically assume that he must be the one who lent his name to the Louth parish:

Article III. St. Saran, Abbot of Bangor, County of Down.

[Eighth Century.] 

In former times, it is probable, that the acts of many native saints were preserved; although, for want of some fostering care, those records have long since sunk into oblivion. A festival to honour Saran, Abbot of Bennchor, was celebrated at this date, as we find recorded in the Martyrology of Tallagh. Several Sarans are mentioned in our Calendars, and at different dates. Of the early history of the present Saran, no record seems to be extant; but, we may fairly infer, that he belonged to the religious community of the Bangor monks, whose abbot St. Flann of Antrim departed this life, A.D., 722. It is probable, that Saran was appointed his immediate successor. Referring to the present saint, Major-General J. H. Lefroy appears to derive the parochial name of Kilsaran, in the Barony of Ferrard, and County of Louth, from this holy Abbot of Bangor; but, on what grounds, we do not find stated.  The death of Saran, abbot of Bangor, occurred, in the year of our Lord 742. His feast occurs at this date, likewise, in the Martyrology of Donegal.

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