Wednesday 31 August 2016

Saint Aedh, the Martyr, August 31

There is a rather intriguing entry in the Martyrology of Tallaght at August 31 for a Saint Aedh, described as a Martyr. This is interesting, first because an Irish martyr, at least on home soil, is a very rare bird indeed and secondly because he is but one of a number of saints who bear this name whose feasts are commemorated on this day. The most well-known of the saints Aedh (Aodh, Aedhan, Aid, Aidan) whose feasts are recorded today on the calendars has to be Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne, but there is also a Deacon Aedh. The Aedh who was also a 'martyr', however, remains an enigma and as far as I can see is recorded only in The Martyrology of Tallaght. Canon O'Hanlon has but a single sentence to write on this saint in Volume VIII of his Lives of the Irish Saints:

St. Aedh, Martyr. 

Veneration was given to an Aedh, Martyr, at the 31st of August, as we find set down in the Martyrology of Tallagh. Again, under the head of Inis Cathaigh, Duald Mac Firbis enters, Aedhan, bishop, from Inis-Cathaigh, at August 31st. The reason for this localization, however, is not stated.

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