Thursday, 31 July 2014

Feast of the Sons of Nadfraech, July 31

We close the month of July with the collective feast of the Sons of Nadfraech. Inevitably, the  calendars do not agree with each other in their listing of the individuals who make up the grouping and it seems that some of the saints whose feasts happen to fall on this day may have been erroneously included as sons of Nadfraech. Canon O'Hanlon is cautious about the group but is able to bring accounts of all of them individually. We have already met one of them, Saint Colmán of Derrymore, on the blog and accounts of the others will follow:

FESTIVAL FOR THE SONS OF NADFRAECH, VIZ., COLMAN, FOLLAMAN, PAPAN, IERNOC AND NATALIS.

[FIFTH AND SIXTH CENTURIES.]

MUCH uncertainty prevails, as we shall see, regarding the parentage and places, the sons—if they were not rather the grandsons—of Nadfraech, should have in our histories and calendars. We do not read of his conversion to Christianity, nor any very particular allusion to him, in the Acts of St. Patrick, although his son Aengus, King of Munster, became a distinguished convert, when the Gospel was preached in that part of Ireland.  However, it is likely, in this case, the father's name has been set down for that of his son Aengus. According to the Martyrology of Donegal, the sons of Nadfaech had veneration paid them at this date. Their names are entered in detail, with marked distinction, and in the following order, according to the foregoing Calendar, viz. : Colman, Bishop; Fallamain, Bishop ; Iarnog, the sickly; and Natal of Cill-na-manach. It is not otherwise recorded, nor does it seem probable, except in a remote degree, that Natfraich had many children, who were saints. However, it is generally assumed, that Aengus was the father of a numerous and holy offspring. There are four of his sons numbered among our saints, and they are called Colman, Foilan, Lugad and Natalis. Nor does this account wholly agree with that of other authorities. At the 31st of July, Marianus O'Gorman seems to say, that the feast of Angus' five sons, viz. : Colman, the son of Darenia, Follamonius, or Follomen, Papan, Iernoc and Natal is, had been celebrated on that day. These he calls the sons of Natfraich. But, by another designation, we are to understand, that they were only his grandsons, Aengus being their father.  In succeeding articles, we shall treat individually regarding each one of those saints, and as we find references to them in our records.

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