Tuesday 6 November 2012

The Troop of the Noble Saints of Erin

The troop of the noble saints of Erin,
with Patrick who is highest:
Columb cille, who sets up the troops
 of the saints of Alba.

The final, vast troop, 
which ends a bright chain,
Saint Brigit after triumphs,
with the virgins of Erin.

All these troops with noble overkings,
to help me,
a bright white following,
the vast host of saints.

Epilogue to the Martyrology of Oengus, lines 277-288, translated by Whitley Stokes.

Welcome to Omnium Sanctorum Hiberniae, a blog dedicated to the saints of Ireland. It succeeds my former blog, Under the Oak, whose archive it preserves. I intend to continue the work I began there and will soon start to post accounts of the lives of the Irish saints, largely, but not exclusively, drawn from the work of John, Canon O'Hanlon (1821-1905).  His ten-volume Lives of the Irish Saints, a work in the public domain, is a treasury of information on our native holy men and women. Although I most enjoy reading and writing about the traditional view of the Irish saints, I also attempt to keep up with the findings of modern scholarship and the role which the saints play in contemporary culture. I am particularly committed to recovering the names and memories of our lesser-known holy men and women, those who make up the bulk of the ranks of the 'vast host of saints' to whom Saint Oengus refers in his Martyrology. We are blessed to have the actual writings of our national patron, Saint Patrick, and important early Lives of our secondary patrons, Saints Brigid and Colum Cille, but for the majority of our Irish saints all that survives is a record of their names and feast days on the various calendars.  It is therefore fitting to remember them all, male and female, the famous and the obscure, those who flourished in Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connaught and those who laboured in the territories of Europe alike on this the Feast of All the Saints of Ireland.

Let us Pray

Grant, O Lord, an increase of Thy Grace to us who celebrate the memory of all the Saints of our Island; that as, on earth, we rejoice to be one with them in race, so, in Heaven, we may deserve to share with them an inheritance of bliss. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

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