Sunday 25 October 2015

Saint Caidin of Domhnach Caoide, October 25

The feast of Saint Caidin is recorded in some of the Irish Martyrologies for 25 October. The table in the Martyrology of Donegal lists:
Caoide, abbot, of Domhnach-Caoide, in Tir Eoghain, diocese of Derry, 25 Oct. (8 Cal. Nov.); Cadinus in Latin. His church, his bell, and his staff are preserved.
The actual entry reads:

[The festival of CAOIDE, Abbot, patron of .... chaidh.]
to which the notes add:
The blank in the text ought to be filled by the word Domhnach. (R.)
The locality of Domhnach Caoide, or Downaghede as it was anglicized, is mentioned in a later medieval record of the Diocese of Derry. The editor of these records, Bishop Reeves, quoted Colgan, who mentions the 28th October, rather than the 25th in connection with this saint. He also introduces something of a red herring in identifying Caidin with a Saint Cadoc, a missionary to the Morini in France:
Downaghgede. — Domnach Caoide, Dominica Caidini. " S. Caidinus Confessor colitur in ecclesia de Domhnach Caoide, dioacesis Derensis in Ultonia, 28 Octobris." — (Act. SS., p. 162 &.) Colgan observes that, the termination oc being a diminutive, Caidan or Caidin and Caidoc are the same. Caidocus al' Caidinus was a companion of St. Columbanus, and the apostle of the Morini. The herenagh paid 40s. per an. to the bishop Inq. The ruins of the old church of Donaghedy are in the townland Bunowen, a little N. E. of the present church (Ord. Surv., s.3.)
Rev. W. Reeves (ed), Acts of Archbishop Colton in his metropolitan visitation in the diocese of Derry, A.D. MCCCXCVII (Dublin, 1850), 73.

This suggested link to a Saint Cadoc, missionary to the Morini, whom Colgan conveniently placed for commemoration on the same day as the better-known Saint Cadoc of Wales (January 24), is not the only source of confusion surrounding the precise identity of Caidin of Domhnach Caoide or of his feastday. For the Irish Martyrologies also list a saint of the same name on the previous day, October 24. This Caidin, however, is clearly identified as having been a bishop of Iona (or Hy). The Martyrology of Donegal records:

CAETI, Bishop. The Cain Adamnain states that Ceti, the bishop, was one of the saints who were security to free the women from every kind of captivity and slavery ; and it is likely that it is of him he speaks.
to which the Notes add:
Ceti, the bishop. The Annals of Ulster, at 711, and the Four Masters, at 710, record the death of Coeddi, bishop of Ia, or Iona. This date tallies very well with the supposed period at which the synod of Adanman was held. Colgan latinizes the name Caidimis. See Trias Thaum., p. 499 a, and Actt. SS. p. 162 6, note 2. Caideus, which occurs at the following day, is the same name. The blank in the text ought to be filled by the word Domhnach. (R.)
The death of this bishop is also noted by Father Lanigan in his Ecclesiastical History of Ireland:
St. Caide or Caidin, who was bishop at Hy, died in 711 and his name is in the calendars at 24 October.
Rev. J. Lanigan, The Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, Vol 3., (2nd edn., Dublin, 1829), 153.

The Martyrology of Marianus O'Gorman, incidentally, lists only Coeddi, a bishop, on 24 October and has no entry for another saint of the same name on the following day.

So it would appear that there is some degree of confusion surrounding our Saint Caidin. It is of course possible that we are dealing with one individual here. Saint Caidin could have been both a monastic at a foundation of his own in Ireland and then later acted as a bishop on Iona. On the other hand, it would seem equally plausible that there could be two saints of the same name, one an abbot in the diocese of Derry, the other a bishop of Iona. The Iona Caidin of October 24 is clearly identified as having died in the early eighth-century, but it may be significant that the other Caidin of October 25 is associated with the placename 'Domhnach Caoide'. The prefix Domhnach is associated with the very earliest church foundations in Ireland, and indeed in The Tripartite Life of Patrick there is a Domhnach Cati listed as one of the seven churches of Saint Patrick at the Faughan River. Thus if we are dealing with two individual saints called Caidin, the one commemorated on October 25 who left his 'church, bell and staff' may be a very early saint indeed, and thus distinct from his later namesake of Iona.

Content Copyright © Omnium Sanctorum Hiberniae 2012-2015. All rights reserved.

No comments: