Sunday 12 January 2014

Saint Cummine mac Duibh of Drum Druith, January 12

Canon O'Hanlon's Lives of the Irish Saints records at January 12 a Saint Cummine (Cummeine, Cummain) who illustrates many of the difficulties faced by hagiologists in trying to discover the identity of some of our native saints:

St. Cummein or Cuimmine, Son of Dubh, of Drum-Druith.

A festival in honour of Cuimmine mac Duibh, of Druim Druith, is registered in the Martyrology of Tallagh, at the 12th of January. The place to which he belonged has not been identified. The Martyrology of Donegal likewise mentions, as having a festival on this day, Cummein, son of Dubh, of Drum-Druith. There is a Cuimin, son of Dima Dubh, belonging to the race of Fiachra, son to Eochaidh Muighmhedhoin. Finding a saint of this name interred at Bobbio, in the north of Italy, and not being able to discover with any certainty his having been different from the present holy man, Colgan has some memoranda regarding him inserted at the 12th of January. The name of Cummine first occurs at this date in our Calendars; and for no better reason is the Cummine or Cumian of Bobbio here introduced.

The German scholar, Michael Richter, in his recent volume on Bobbio, the Italian foundation of Saint Columbanus, rules out this connection and assigns the Bobbio saint's feastday to July 9. Cummine is a relatively common name in the Irish sources, the most famous saint of this name being the scholarly Cummine the Tall.

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