Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Saint Enan of Drumrath, August 19

August 19 is the commemoration of Saint Enan of Drumrath.  Canon O'Hanlon's account below presents this County Westmeath holy man as a friend to Saint Áed Mac Bricc of Killaire, an associate of Saint Brigid who exercised his famed prowess at curing headaches on her. The friendship between Saints Áed and Enan is understandable since both were neighbours.  It seems that Saint Enan also had a second feast day on September 18:

St. Enan, Patron of Drumrath, County of Westmeath.
[Sixth Century.]

The present holy servant of God flourished so early as the sixth century. In the “Feilire" of St. Oengus, the festival for Enan of Droma Raithne is to be found entered, at the 19th of August. In a comment, we find an explanation, that Droma Raithne is the same as Druim Fota Talman, in the West of Meath, while he is said to have been Enan, son of Ernin, son of Cael, son of Aed, son of Artchorp, son of Niacorp. The published Martyrology of Tallagh registers a festival in honour of Enan, of Druimraithe, in Westmeath. A similar entry is to be found in the copy of that Martyrology contained in the Book of Leinster, at the xiv. of the September kalends. At the 19th of August, the Martyrology of Donegal also enters the festival for St. Enan of Druimrath. Postfixed to this Martyrology, there is a similar entry, in which the Martyrologium Genealogicum is quoted as authority, by the compiler of an alphabetical table. But, in a note, added by Dr. Todd to such statement, he says, in the copy of that treatise, as found in the Book of Lecan, there is nothing concerning Enan of Druimraithe, in Westmeath. Our saint is called Henan, in the Life of St. Aidus, of Killare, and there are different readings, for the name of this hermit, in the Codex Insulensis, and in the Salamancan Manuscript. The Bollandists allude merely to the present St. Henan or Enan, at the 19th of August; promising if further information were to be procured, that allusion should more fully be made to him, at the 18th of September, when, according to some Irish Calendars, he had another festival. It is stated, that he belonged to the race of Eochaidh Finnfua-thairt, from whom Brigid descends. If so, he was son of Ernin, son to Calius, son of Aid, son to Sanius, son of Arturus Corb. We are informed from other sources, how this saint lived the life of a hermit, and at a place, called Drumrath. Here he was visited by St. Aidus, or Aedh, surnamed MacBricc, a remarkable and holy prelate of the ancient Irish Church. He resided at Killare, or Killair, now a village, not far from the celebrated Hill of Uisneach, and supposed by Camden to have been the ancient Laberus, noted by Ptolemy.

The place in which St. Enan or Henan dwelt is now known as Drumrath, or Drumraney. The Irish denomination of this locality means in English, the Ridge-Rath. It belonged to the Meath diocese, and it is situated in that part of Westmeath, formerly called Cuircne. According to Archdall's statement, the place of this saint is identical with Drumraney, which lies about six miles north-eastwards from Athlone, in the Barony of Kilkenny West, County of Westmeath. Others locate it, in the adjoining barony, called Brawney. From Killare to Drumrath or Drumrany, the distance is not very considerable; and, from all we can learn, it is extremely probable, that a holy friendship and an intercourse had been kept up by St. Aid with his neighbour, St. Enan. Moreover, it seems not unlikely, that our saint had a small community under his charge, at the latter place. We are told, there is a holy well in this parish, near the churchyard, which is extensive. This well had been dedicated to St. Enan. When St. Aidus, Bishop of Killare, paid a visit to our saint, at Druimrath, he had nothing for the prelate's refreshment but herbs and water. Seeing this condition of affairs, Aidus smiled, and said to the servant of Enan, “Go, brother, and bring us more palatable food." Returning to a place indicated, the servant found it filled with all varieties of meat. On seeing and hearing these events, those who were present, at that time, cried out,"Wonderful is the Lord in His Saints." Our national Hagiologist [i.e. Colgan] informs us, that the entertainer of St. Aidus was no other than the present St. Enan, also called Henan. It seems probable, that St. Aedh, surnamed Mac Bric, lived at Rahugh or Rathugh, a parish in the barony of Moycashel, and County of Westmeath, at that time; or he may have lived at Killare, in the barony of Rathconrath, in the same county. A famous monastery existed at Drumrath, when the ancient biographer of St. Aidus wrote, and it was built in honour of our saint; but, Archdall had no authority for assigning its erection, to the year 588. A monastery is said to have been founded here in honour of St. Enan, and sometime in the sixth century.

In the Irish Annals, there is an account regarding the death of an Abbot of Druim-ratha; and, he flourished in the eighth century. But, as there was another Druim-ratha, in the district of Legny, in the province of Connaught, it cannot be asserted positively, that the individual noticed belonged to Drumrath, in Westmeath. We are told, that the festival of St. Enan used to be celebrated at Drumrany, on the Sunday after the 18th of September. Nevertheless, according to St. Oengus and Marianus O'Gorman, our saint's festival was celebrated at Drumrath, on the 19th of August; although the same St. Oengus and the Tallagh Martyrology state, that his natal day was kept, on the 18th of September. There is no mention of our saint, however, at this latter day, in the copy of the Irish Calendar, formerly belonging to the Ordnance Survey Office, Phoenix Park, and now deposited in the Library of the Royal Irish Academy. However, the patron saint of Drumrany is said to have been St. Winoc, whose memory was celebrated there, on the 18th September. His day fell on that date, and his pattern was held on the Sunday following. His well is called Tober-Enain, and it lay in the townland of Drumrany, near the old church. It was "smothered up," according to the phraseology of the country people, about the year 1817. The Oratory of Drumraithe was burned by the Ostmen, about the middle of the tenth century; while seven score and ten persons perished in it.This happened in the year 943; when, as the Annals of Clonmacnoise state, the Danes brought a great prey from Dromrahie. The churchyard solely remains, and now undistinguished by monastic ruins; however, the memory of St. Enan, even after such a lapse of time, is still reverenced by the faithful inhabitants of that vicinity.

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