Friday 9 May 2014

St. Mumbolus of Lagny, May 9

At May 9 Canon O'Hanlon brings an account of an Irish saint associated with the French foundation of Saint Fursey at Lagny. It would be interesting to know which Irish name lies behind the Latinized Mumbolus. The sources seem to suggest that he succeeded the founder but that his embrace of the Irish ascetical tradition proved too much for some in the community and that he was forced out to pursue the eremitical life instead. The sources also record two distant feast days for Saint Mumbolus, one at May 9 and a second at November 18. One of these may well be the actual date of the saint's death and the other the translation of his relics. Canon O'Hanlon tells us that the saint's relics were moved in the ninth century:

St. Mumbolus, or Mombolus, Hermit and Abbot of Lagny, France.
[Seventh Century.]

In the time of this holy man, a pious emulation seized the Christian Irish and Scots to leave their homes, and to become evangelists, among people living on the Continent. St, Mumbolus or Mombolus was born in Ireland, probably in the seventh century. Afterwards, he went over to France. There, he entered the Monastery of Lagny, as a disciple to St. Fursey. But few particulars regarding him have been recorded, by Miraeus  and Molanus, who place his festival, at the 18th of November. After the death of his master, although third in succession, he became principal over this monastery. But, his government of the inmates seemed to them rather austere; and, a confederacy of many among the community having been formed against him, he withdrew, in company with some fervent companions, to a place called Condrynus, near the River Isara, now known as L'Isere. Here, he lived the life of an anchorite, and he happily departed to a better state, towards the close of the seventh century. At the 9th of May, Dempster  has the Deposition of Mombulus, Abbot of Lagny. It is probable, he died, on the 9th of May; and, at the same date, Wion, Dorgan, Ferrarius, as also an Irish authority [Father Stephen White], have noted his feast. The Bollandists commemorate him at this day;  but, as they state, these authorities cited, and most of the other saint-writers, have another feast for him, at the 18th of November. The relics of this saint were removed, from his place of deposition, by the Bishops of Cambray and of Noyon, about the year 831.

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