Monday 4 February 2013

Saint Lomman of Lough Gill, February 4

February 4 is the feast of a 6th-century saint associated with the islands in Lough Gill, County Sligo. Canon O'Hanlon tells us that he was also a participant in the Synod of Dromceat, although not much else appears to be known of the life of Saint Lomman:

St. Lomman, of Lough Gill, County of Sligo. [Sixth Century.]

St. Loman was the son of Dalian, son to Bressail, son to Manius, son of Eochaid, son of Domnhail, son to Imchad, son of Colla Dacrioch. To this latter race he belonged. He was born, probably, in the earlier part of the sixth century, when Ireland so much abounded in holy men, and in learned teachers. We find him mentioned, in the Martyrology of Tallagh, at the 4th of February, as Lomman. Here, this name is united, with that of another saint, Colman, Tamlachta Gluidh. This, however, is clearly a peculiarity, or a mistake of entry, on the part of a scribe. We cannot learn, that the Acts of this holy man have been preserved; but, from the Life of St. Farannan, we are informed, that he lived, towards the close of the sixth century. In the Martyrology of Donegal, is set down as having a festival, on this day, Lomman, of Loch Gile, between Cairbre and Breifne. The locality, in question, is the beautiful Lough Gill, lying between the counties of Sligo and of Leitrim, but chiefly within bounds of the former county. Probably, on one of its islands, our saint had erected his hermitage, about, or a little after, the middle of the sixth age. We find this saint had been a contemporary, with the renowned St. Columkille. He assisted, at the great Synod of Dromceat, which according to some writers was held, about the year 580, while others defer it, to A.D. 590. Here, our saint had the singular honour and happiness, no doubt, to welcome the great Apostle of Caledonia; but, it may be, that their acquaintance and friendship had not then been made for the first time.

...It would seem, that the present saint had lived, probably for some considerable period of his life, on one or other of those islands where we now find the remains of churches on Lough Gill. When he died has not been exactly ascertained; yet, we have every reason to suppose, this occurrence took place, towards the close of the sixth, or about the commencement of the seventh, century.

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