Thursday 26 March 2015

Saint Mochelloc of Kilmalloch, March 26

Saint Mochelloc of Kilmalloch is commemorated on March 26. As Canon O'Hanlon's account brings out, this saint's festival is very well-attested on the Irish and other calendars, albeit at the cost of the saint's name being somewhat mangled along the way. There seems to be some confusion over the locality in which Mochelloc flourished and it is interesting to learn of a tradition that he died in Rome, he would not be the only early Irish saint to be linked with pilgrimage to the Eternal City. Canon O'Hanlon begins by examining the saint's genealogy, for as he reminds us ' the pedigree of a saint is at least interesting, as that of a monarch':


This saint is called Mottelog, by some writers, but more correctly Celloc, Cellenus, or Kellenus, by others, who derive his name Mochelloc, by which he is best known, from the endearing prefix, "mo," Anglicised into "my," being joined with Chelloc. Certain authorities say, that his father was named Oblen, and that he descended from the noble and ancient race of Connor, King of Ireland. However, Colgan is of opinion, that Oblen must have been the name of his grandfather, or great-grandfather. The Martyrologies of Tamlacht and of Marianus O'Gorman, with the Irish Calendar, state, that our saint's father had been named Tuladhran. So far, have we been enabled to collect illustrations, in reference to this holy man's genealogy and, the pedigree of a saint is at least interesting, as that of a monarch. The Bollandists have published short Acts of this saint, and following closely the accounts of him, as left us, by Colgan. This pious servant of Christ was a relative to, and contemporary with, Finan, of Kinnetty. Our saint appears to have flourished, about the close of the sixth, and beginning of the seventh, century. He is usually called Mochelloc, of Cathuir-mac-Conchaigh, or Conchaidh,an ancient city near Lismore, in the present county of Waterford... The place of our saint was in the Munster Decies. Archdall declares himself unable to assign the exact location for Cathuir mac-Conchaigh. We are told, by Keating, that this saint was founder of Kilmallock church, and this name is supposed to be a contraction from Kill-mochelloc...It is possible, that as Kilmallock had become a more remarkable place than Cathuir-mac- Conchaigh, or the church of Kill-Odhrain—where likewise he was venerated —the former town might have been a bishopric, or abbey, over which Mochelloc presided. Kill-odhrain was perhaps only another name for Cathuirmac-Conchaigh, and this the Calendar of Cashel indicates. Having attained a very old age, our saint died, at a place called Letha —thought to have been Fiodh-Lethan, near Lismore—on the 26th of March, the day for his festival, after A.D. 639, and before A.D. 656, during the joint reigns of Connall and Kellach. Letha was a name, given by our historians to Latium, or Italy; and, there are writers, according to Maguire, who say, that our saint died, in Rome. Others again tell us, that he departed at Killdachelloc, in Hy Cairpre, of Munster. The festival of this holy man, with that of the two Sinchells, is found in the Festilogy of St. Aengus, at the 26th of March:

" In Letha they perished—
Mochelloc after many days,
The feast of two ever-living Sinchells,
Of vast Cill Achad."

The name Mochelloc, son of Tulodrain, of Calthir mic Conaich, is inserted, in the Martyrology of Tallagh, at the 26th of March. The Calendar of Cashel, Marianus O'Gorman, and Cathal Maguire, mark his festival, at this same date. In the O'CIery's Martyrology is found, at this date, as an entry, and within brackets : [Mocheallog, who died in Letavia.—Felire Aonghuis.] The Carthusian Martyrology distinguislies a Mottelog, Abbot and Confessor, from this saint, who is named Mokellock, Bishop and Confessor. There is hardly a doubt, but this is the Motalogus, mentioned at the 26th of March, in the anonymous list, published by O'Sullivan Beare. However, these names only characterize but one and the same person the denomination being somewhat varied by different writers. The Kalendar of Drummond, at the vii. of the April Kalends, or 26th of March, commemorates: In Hibernia, the Holy Confessors, Mochelloc and Sinchele, who, on this day, went to Christ.

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