Sunday 28 September 2014

Saint Dairi the Widow, September 28

September 28 is the feast of the interesting Saint Sinach Mac Dara, whose memory remains fresh among the people of the west coast of Ireland. He shares his feastday with a number of other Irish saints, among them a holy widow called Dairi. In the Irish language the word for a widow, baintreach, means literally 'a woman who ploughs', presumably because in the absence of her husband a widow is forced to undertake this arduous work for herself. Not that the Irish female saints were any strangers to hard work on the land, their Lives record that Saint Brigid herded sheep and churned butter and Saint Moninne's community preserved her hoe as a sacred relic long after her death. What the circumstances of Saint Dairi's life were I do not know, Canon O'Hanlon is able to bring us only a notice of her at this date in the Martyrology of Donegal:

St. Dairi, a Holy Widow.

We read in the Martyrology of Donegal that veneration was given to Dairi, a holy Widow, at the 28th of September. In the table, postfixed to this Martyrology, her name and distinctive state is Latinized Daria, Vidua.

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