Monday, 7 October 2013

Saint Cellach of Glendalough, October 7


On October 7 the Martyrology of Oengus notices 'the feast of Cellach the keen with a fair, melodious following'. The scholiasts' notes add:

7. of Cellach, i.e. in Hui Máil is deacon Cellach, in Disert Cellaig to the south-east of Glendalough he is. Cellach the Saxon from Glendalough.

He was not English, but he came from the English to the Irish, because he was Irish.

Thomas O'Loughlin has contributed an entry on the various saints who bear the name of Cellach to the Encyclopaedia of Celtic Culture and says of our saint:

Cellach is also the name of a little-known saint mentioned in various martyrologies, whose feast-day is 7 October. The Litany of the Irish Saints I calls him a ‘Saxon and archdeacon’, while the annotations to the Martyrology of Tallaght says that he was a priest who although ‘not an Englishman came to Ireland from England’. The annotator to the Félire Oengusso says that he was a deacon, ‘the Saxon of Glendalough’, who lived in Dísert Cellaig (southeast of Glendalough/Gleann Dá Loch).

J.T. Koch (ed.), Celtic Culture - A Historical Encyclopaedia, Volume I (ABC-CLIO, 2006), 362.

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