Sunday 16 February 2014

Saint Aedh Glas of Rath na n-Epscop, February 16

An episcopal saint, Aedh Glas, is commemorated on February 16 on the Irish calendars. Canon O'Hanlon does his best to suggest possible locations for the place name associated with him, which translates as the 'ring-fort of the bishop':

St. Aedh Glas, Bishop, of Rath na n-Epscop, or Rathnaspick.

[Possibly in the Fifth or Sixth Century.]

The name Aedh Glas, without any further designation, occurs in the Martyrology of Tallagh, at this date. Colgan and the Bollandists notice his six brothers. It is mentioned, in the Martyrology of Donegal, that Aedh Glas, Bishop of Rath na n-Epscop, was venerated on this day. If Colgan's conjecture be correct, he had six brothers bishops, it is said, who are thus named and distinguished -Diermit, bishop; Foebarchus, bishop; Maclasrius, bishop; Manchinus, bishop; Tarchellus, bishop; Tinnius, bishop. St. Aedh is set forth as the son of Mured, the son of Fortchern, and belonging to the family of St. Declan. All of these are said to have been venerated at Rathna-Nespoc, and they are ranked among St. Patrick's disciples. These are thought to have possibly lived, in the time of St. Kieran of Saigir since, a Bishop Aidus, is mentioned in his Acts. Under the head of Rath-na- Nepscor—rightly, however, Rath-na nEpscop—Duald Mac Firbis enters, Aodh Glas, and Aongus, at February the 16th. Mr. Hennessy appends a note stating, that the place is unknown; and, such is undoubtedly the case, under the misreading. There is a parish and a townland, denominated Rathaspick, in the county of Wexford. Here, there is a holy well, which was called after the episcopal patron of the parish, but whose name is now forgotten. There is a parish and a townland, called Rathaspick, in the barony of Moygoish, and county of Westmeath. There is likewise a parish, known as Rathaspick, situated, partly in the barony of Fassadinin, county of Kilkenny, and partly in the baronies of Ballyadams and Slievemargy, in the Queen's County. I cannot determine, to which of the foregoing places, the present holy bishop and his brothers belonged.

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