Monday 18 January 2016

Saint Coppa, January 18

A female saint with possible Patrician associations is commemorated on January 18. Canon O'Hanlon records the speculation of the seventeenth-century hagiologist, Friar John Colgan, that Saint Coppa may have been associated with the church of Elphin and was one of those whom he listed as having received the veil from Saint Patrick:

St. Coppa or Cobba, Virgin, Daughter of Baedan.

[Possibly in the Fifth Century.] 

The silence of history has obscured many a career, which if better known must command the respect of the good. A festival in honour of Cobba, daughter to Baetan, is recorded in the Martyrology of Tallagh, at the 18th of January. Nor do we find further notices of her in the later calendars. Coppa, virgin, and a daughter of Baedan, is entered in the Martyrology of Donegal, on this day of the month. In the acts of St. Patrick, it is said he left a Cipia, the mother of Bishop Bite, at the church of Elphin. Colgan seems to doubt whether this holy woman—whom he classed among those veiled by St. Patrick—was not identical with the present St. Coppa or Cobba.

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