Saturday, 4 May 2013

Saint Mochua of Sliabh Eibhlinne, May 4


May 4 is the commemoration of Saint Mochua or Cronan, who flourished in a mountainous area of County Limerick. Canon O'Hanlon brings us the details, pointing out that this saint is one of a number of saints Cronan whose name is usually given the diminutive 'Mochua':

ST. MOCHUA, OR CRONAN, SON OF CUIMINE, OF SLIABH EIBHLINNE, NOW SLIEVE PHELIM MOUNTAINS, COUNTY OF LIMERICK.

The Martyrology of Tallagh enters the festival of Mochua Mac Cummin, in Sleibh Eibhinn, at the 3rd of May. Mochua is only another name for Cronan, as we have already shown. The Bollandists, quoting the foregoing authority, have entered this holy person's festival, with some differences of spelling. This saint must have lived, at an early period, for we find his festival set down on this day, in the Felire of St. Aengus. To the stanza, a scholiast has added the comment, that he was Mochua, son of Conn, from Sliab Eblinne, in Munster. It seems probable, that his church was connected with this district; but, the exact locality is not denoted. The Slieve Phelim Mountains are a remarkable range, with beautiful undulations, extending over a considerable tract of country, towards the northeastern part of Limerick County... In Scotland, likewise, as in Ireland, St. Mochua was venerated, at the iv. of the May Nones, according to the Kalendar of Drummond, and as a holy confessor. Among the various saints, called Mochua, or Cronan, we are unable to distinguish the present holy man, his period, or his office in the Church. The Martyrology of Donegal records, that this day was venerated Cronan, son of Cummain, of Sliabh Ebhlinne, in Munster.

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