Monday, 15 September 2014

Saint Lassar of Clonmore, September 15

September 15 is the commemoration of one of more than a dozen female saints who bear the name of Lassar. I have given a list of the others on the page dealing with homonymous saints here. The task of separating these individuals is not made any easier by the association of today's holy lady with the place name Clonmore. Clonmore is an anglicisation of the Irish cluain mór, the large meadow and is itself shared by localities throughout the island. The most famous in terms of ecclesiastical sites is perhaps Clonmore, County Carlow and in his account below Canon O'Hanlon is informed by one of his correspondents that this is indeed the Clonmore of our saint. If this is so, she is the only female saint I have come across in connection with this monastery whose two most well-known saints are the founder Maedoc and the zealous relic collector Saint Onchu. Finally, the calendarist Marianus O'Gorman's description of Saint Lassar as bright and shining is a reference to the fact that her name is derived from the old Irish word for flame.

St. Lassar of Clonmore.

This pious Virgin, St. Lassair, of Cluain-mor, was venerated at the 15th of September, as we read in the Martyrologies of Tallagh. The name of Lasra, Lassar, Lassera or Lassair was not an unusual one among the Irish female Saints.  Of these, some are distinguished by their patronymics; others by their connexion with a particular locality; while others are not recognizable under either category. The present St. Lassar is said to have been of Cluain-mor. Many places, bearing the name of Clonmore, are found in various parts of Ireland. Mr. John McCall informs the writer, however, that the place of this holy virgin was Clonmore Maedhoc, now Clonmore, in the County of Carlow, which place has been already described at the 8th of February, when treating about St. Oncho or Onchuo, Confessor. At the 15th of September, the bright St. Lassar is invoked in the Martyrology of Marianus O'Gorman, as the shining one who is not decrepit. A commentator adds, that she was of Cluana Moir. At the present date, likewise, Lassar is noticed in the Martyrology of Donegal.  The same entry occurs in the Irish Calendar, belonging to the Ordnance Survey Records.

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