Saturday 20 July 2013

Saint Curifin the Pious, July 20

There is another obscure saint commemorated on July 20, about whom we know frustratingly little. Canon O'Hanlon summarizes the evidence from the Irish calendars for the feast of Saint Curifin the pious:

St. Curifin or Cuirbin, the Pious, in Hy-Fidhgeinte, County of Limerick.

This saint seems to have lived before or during the ninth century, as he is named by our earliest Calendarist. In the Feilire of St. Oengus, at the 20th of July, there is a festival set down for "pious Curufin." In an Irish commentary postfixed to this proper name, we find the following remark, as translated into English "in Ui-Fidgente in Munster is Curufin." In the Martyrology of Tallagh, at this date, the simple entry Curifin occurs. The O'Clerys connect this holy man, with the territory of Hy-Fidhgeinte, which derived its denomination from the descendants of Fiacha Fidgeinte, son to Daire Cearb, who was the son of Oilill Flannbeg, King of Munster, in the latter part of the third century. It comprised the barony of Coshma, and all that portion of the present Limerick County, which lies to the west of the River Maigne. Thus, we are told, in an old document, that the country of the Hy-Fidgeinnte extended from Luachair Bruin to Bruree, and from Bruree to Buais. A festival is inserted in the Martyrology of Donegal, at the 20th of July, in honour of Cuirbin, the Pious, in Ui Fidhgeinte, in Munster. It is likely, this saint is identical with one entered Cruibin, at this same date, in the Introduction to that work.

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