Friday 24 May 2013

Saint Segin of Armagh, May 24

May 24 is the commemoration of a seventh-century Archbishop of Armagh, Saint Segin or Segineus. Canon O'Hanlon begins his entries for this day with an account of the life of Saint Segin, whose episcopate seems to have witnessed some memorable natural phenomena :


AS first in dignity of those saints, whose names belong to this date, the holy Archprelate Segineus deserves the first notice. The simple entry, Segin, Airdmacha, appears in the Martyrology of Tallagh, at this day. The Bollandists enter a festival for Segineus, also, at the 24th of May, on the same authority. There is a St. Segineus, son of Ronan, son to Loarn, son of Fergus, son to Conall Gulban, according to the pedigree of Seluacuis, and the "Sanctilogium Genealogicum." Colgan seems to think, he may have been the present prelate. This saint is said to have been from Achadh-Claidhibh —rendered Aghaclive—the situation of which does not seem to have been discovered. He was born, probably, about the beginning of the seventh century. Of his earlier years and education we have no account. The commentator on the Table subjoined to the Martyrology of Donegal has it stated, that the term of office for Seighin, Bishop of Ardmacha, commenced in the year 641, or 644; but, this appears to be a date much too early for his incumbency. During the year specified, Thomain Mac Ronan was in possession. When Tomain, who ruled over the Church of Armagh as Bishop, died, A.D. 660, Segineus was chosen to succeed him, A.D. 661. The years of his Archiepiscopate are periods of sore trial, for in 670, and again, in 687, the city of Armagh was consumed by accidental fire. During his primacy took place that remarkable eclipse of the sun, in the year 663, followed by a summer, when the sky seemed to be on fire, and during the Kalends of August, an awful mortality swept off multitudes of the people in Ireland, as also in England. The year 684, is that assigned for the Quies of Segene, Bishop of Ardmacha, in the "Chronicum Scotorum." The "Annals of the Four Masters" place his death, at A.D. 686. The Martyrology of Donegal has it A.D. 687, and this agrees with the Annals of Ulster. Segin is said to have governed his diocese twenty-seven years, and to have died, on the 24th of May, A.D. 688, which is the date given for it by Sir James Ware, and which an excellent authority pronounces to have been the true year. According to the Martyrology of Donegal, veneration was given on this day to Seighin, Bishop of Ard Macha.

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