Friday 23 May 2014

Saint Comman, May 23

At May 23 we can add another name to the long list of obscure Irish saints, whose only memorial is their entry in the Irish calendars. A Saint Comman appears in the earliest of these, the Martyrology of Tallaght, and Canon O'Hanlon directs us to a County Wicklow location called Kilcommon, before conceding that it may not be connected to this saint or indeed to any of the other eleven saints Comman commemorated in the Irish calendars:


An entry of St. Comman is registered, in the Martyrology of Tallagh, at the 23rd of May. The Bollandists quote the same authority, for this insertion of his name,at this date. No place, genealogy or title is afforded to distinguish him, from others bearing a similar name. Quite convenient to the Dublin and Wicklow Railway, and about one mile from the town of Rathdrum, the old graveyard of Kilcommon rises on the side of a commanding hill. This place has been much used for interments. Several old trees and bushed grow around it. On the north side, there are only a few interments. On the south side, the graveyard is separated by a deep trench from the fields adjoining. An old ruined church remains within the enclosure. The east end is partly standing and veiled over with thick ivy plants. There is a small ruinous window in it, with a chiselled jam remaining, in which square punched holes are to be seen, as if intended for crossing iron bars. A small square recess is in this same wall, and near the window. The window was about 3 feet, 4 inches in length and 1 foot, 6 inches in breadth. A mere fragment of the south walls continues to show the outline, and in it are the apparent traces of a window, not far from the earth. The remains of the walls, levelled with the ground, only reveal the former extent of this old church. Interiorly, it measures 40 feet in length by 21 feet in breadth, and its walls were over two feet in thickness. The walls were built of granite.  Of course, it cannot be asserted with any degree of certainty, this place had been connected with the present, or even with any of the other eleven Comans or Commans, noted in our calendars, at different days of the year. We find the name Comman, also, simply entered in the Martyrology of Donegal, as having been venerated on this day.

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