Monday 13 October 2014

Saint Findsech of Sliabh Guaire, October 13

On October 13 the Irish calendars commemorate a female saint, Findsech, who flourished in Sliabh Guaire. I have not been able to find out any more about her, although the author of a paper on the cult of the nine maidens of Scotland notes that October 13 is also the feastday of one of these maidens with the not wholly dissimilar name of Fincana. I am not an expert in the etymology of Irish names, but it seems to me that the only element these two have in common is that which indicates fairness - Finn - something which the Martyrology of Oengus alludes to in its entry for our saint:

A virgin Saint, named Findsech, was venerated on the 13th October; the Feliré Aenguis at that date has "Fair Findsech's feast," the commentator on which, in the Leabhar Breac adds, "i.e. a virgin, and Ernaide (Nurney) is the name of her town in Sliab Guairi in Gailenga. Or in Dal Araide, is Findsech's church. Or in Mag Rechet in Leix." (Morett.)

Rev. M.Comerford "Collections relating to the Dioceses of Kildare and Leighlin" (1883)

The Martyrology of Donegal records:


FINDSECH, Virgin, of Sliabh Guaire, in Gailenga.

while Marianus O'Gorman notes 'dear Findsech' on this date.

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