Saturday, 15 November 2014

Saint Connait of Lismore, November 15

Among the saints commemorated on November 15 on the Irish calendars is Connait, an eighth-century abbot of Lismore. The Martyrology of Donegal records the date of his repose:

15. D. DECIMO SEPTIMO KAL. DECEMBRIS. 15.

CONNAIT, Abbot, of Lismor, A.D. 759.


A diocesan historian of Lismore gives this summary of Abbot Connait's monastery:

The church and monastery of Lismore, which grew to be one of the renowned centres of ancient Irish learning and piety, owed its foundation to St. Mochuda of the 7th century. Mochuda, otherwise Carthage, was a native of Kerry, and he had been abbot of Rahan in Offaly. It is probable that there had been a Christian church at Lismore previous to the time of Mochuda, for in the Saint's Life there is an implied reference to such a foundation. Be this as it may, Mochuda, driven out of Rahan, with his muintir, or religious household, migrated southward, and, having crossed the Blackwater at Affane, established himself at Lismore in 630. In deference to Mochuda's place of birth the saint's successor in Lismore was, for centuries, a Kerryman. Lismore grew in time to be a great religious city, and a school of sacred sciences, to which pilgrims from all over Ireland and scholars from beyond the seas resorted. The rulers of the great establishment were all, or most of them, bishops, though they are more generally styled abbots by the Annalists. Among the number are several who are listed as Saints by the Irish Martyrologies, scil:

Connait, abbot of Lismore (died 759) ... Nov. 15.

Patrick Power, Waterford & Lismore - A Compendious History of the United Dioceses (Cork, 1937), 5-6.

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