On March 7 the Irish calendars record the name of Saint Mettán, yet another of Ireland's enigmatic female saints. As Canon O'Hanlon explains in Volume III of his Lives of the Irish Saints it is not known when or where this holy virgin flourished. All of the calendars record her name at this date and associate the locality of Tuaim-Atha with her. The index of places appended to the Martyrology of Gorman suggests that Túaim Átha might be Tooma, a townland in the barony of Mohill, County Leitrim and that the name Mettán is a diminutive possibly derived from meta 'timid':
Article V. St. Metan or Meattan,Virgin, of Tuaim-atha.The entry, Metan o Thuaim athi, appears in the Martyrology of Tallagh, at the 7th of March. Marianus O'Gorman has a like notice, while the Bollandists allude to the circumstance, that her place and history are unknown. The Martyrology of Donegal mentions, likewise, Meattan, Virgin of Tuaim-atha, as having a festival on this day. The word, Tuaim, usually Anglicised, Toom, enters into the composition of many local denominations, in Ireland.
Note: This post was first published in 2014 and revised in 2022.
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