Monday 31 March 2014

Saint Colman of Camachadh, March 31

March 31 is the commemoration of yet another Irish saint Colman, this one linked to two other saints by the great 17th-century hagiologist, Father John Colgan, but Canon O'Hanlon prefers to deal with him separately, as he explains in the third article at this date in Volume III of his Lives of the Irish Saints:

St. Colman, of Camachadh.

The brightest and fairest flowers bloom in solitude and soon wither, while they still perfume nooks, in which they grow, with delicious odours. So have bloomed and have beenforgotten the localities and memory of many holy persons. Thus, when introducing his commemoration of the three saints, Colman, Foilan, and Fethadius, at, the 31st of March, Colgan remarks, that he united their names, because he found little of a distinctive character, in their Acts; indeed, he observes, that although the Irish saints, venerated on this day, were not few in number, as many of our domestic Martyrologies proved, yet, very few records of their lives were to be discovered. We prefer, however, to distinguish those saints; and, hence, we begin with St. Colman's name, whichoccurs, in the Irish Martyrologies, at this day. However, Colgan confesses himself unable to discover the exact location of Camachadh, with which place, St. Colman appears to have had connection. There was a church, in the diocese of Ossory, which was called Camchluain; as, also, another in that of Derry, named Cambos, and Camus, in our Martyrologies, At this latter church, a St. Colman was venerated, on the 30th of October; but, whether he was a distinct person from our saint, Colgan had not been able to determine. Another church stood, in the region of Clannuadach, in Connaught, and it was named Cammagh, while its ruins are yet to be seen, Colgan conjectures this name to have more nearly resembled Camachadh, in sound and signification, than any of the former denominations. He interprets Camachadh, or Cammagh, by the Latin words, “campum procurvum," and it is Anglicized, "the very crooked plain." The year of our saint's death has not been recorded, nor even the age, in which he flourished. However, it must have been at a rather early period, since in the Martyrology of Tallagh, at the 31st of March, we find, Colman am (cam) Achaid. Also,Marianus O'Gorman and Cathal Maguire commemorate him. Colman, of Camachadh, occurs, in the Martyrology of Donegal, on this day. The Bollandists briefly notice this saint, at the 31st of March. It is likely, this pious man sought an asylum in a solitude, which the proud and ambitious so much disdain, but which furnish tranquillity and enjoyment to the truly religious.

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