Saturday, 1 August 2015

A Chronology of Irish Saints: M

The biographies of the saints cited in the nineteenth-century encyclopedia's list continues with those listed under the letter M. It's another interesting selection including saints associated with both Saint Patrick and Saint Declan. There are no women among the group but two connected with the Irish mission to Europe, plus an English antiquary is put firmly in his place:

MACARTIN, SAINT, a disciple of St. Patrick and first Bishop of Clogher, was a descendant of the kingly family of the Arads. He was one of the early followers of St. Patrick and gave up all things to devote himself to the work of salvation. His great master was his model, and he exhibited in his life Christian virtues little if any less wonderful. He was placed by him over the See of Clogher, which he governed for many years with great wisdom and prudence. He appears to have had the power of working miracles in an extraordinary degree, of which tradition has handed down many examples. He died in the early part of the sixth century.

MANNON, ST., A.D. 1202, was a native of Ireland and a disciple of St. Remulch. He is acknowledged as patron of Massoin in Ardenne where he was buried. He was put to death in the forest of Ardenne, and Molanus puts him amongst the saints of Flanders.

MANSURY, or MANSUETUS, ST. a native of Ireland, is said by Usher to have been a disciple of Peter and a native of Scotia. He preached the Gospel in Lorraine, was first bishop of Toul and was canonized in the tenth century by Leo IX., who had also been bishop of the same See. Some place his time a little latter.

MOCHELLOE, or KELLOE, St. A.D. 600, a man celebrated in the ancient Irish calendar for his learning and piety, was a disciple of St. Declan of Ardmore. He founded a school and monastery near the present parish of Moeallop, near Lismore, and also the church at Kilmallock, County Limerick. He died about the middle of the seventh century. Mrs. Hall, in writing of this latter place, says, "It was a walled town before the Roman invasion. The remains of the ancient houses are of hewn stone, generally these houses are ornamented with an embattlement and tasteful stone mouldings; the carvings are in a bold and massive style, and retain nearly their original sharpness." Sir K. Hoare, an English antiquary, observes of one of the ruins, "It surpasses in decoration and good sculpture any I have yet seen." Such facts may impress the dubious more powerfully than history or tradition of the advanced state of Ireland in those early ages.

MOLOCUS, SAINT, of Cong, founder of a monastery at Cong, a place, anciently of note, and situated between Lough Corrib and Lough Maske, Co. Mayo, residence of the Kings of Connaught, was also first bishop of a see of the same name since joined to Tuam. He was probably aided by Donald II. , King of Ireland, whom Ware credits with founding the monastery. This was one of the finest monasteries in Ireland as its ruins plainly indicate. It was here that Roderick O'Connor, the last King of Ireland, retired to end his days in peace. The architecture of the Abbey, as it now appears, is of the decorative Roman style, and some of the carvings even as they now appear on the ruins are rich and artistic. The cross of Cong, now in the possession of the Royal Irish Academy, is a richly wrought memorial of antiquity, and is said to contain a portion of the true cross. At the time this religious house was confiscated it contained 700 monks. Our saint's name appears in the calendar on the 17th of April.

MUNCHIN SAINT, first bishop of Limerick, was born about the time St. Patrick commenced his missionary labors, and was the son of Sedun. He received a liberal education in one of the monasteries and became Abbot at Lumneach, Limerick. He built a cathedral church, which was subsequently rebuilt and known as St. Munchin's parochial church. Our saint was very learned in scriptural lore, and was placed by St. Patrick over the converts of a part of Connaught. He died about the year 500.

MUREDACH, SAINT, a disciple of St. Patrick and first Bishop of Killala. Murdeach early became a follower of St. Patrick, and although quite a youth was of great service to him on account of his knowledge of the country and his connection with some formidable clans. He took his master as his model in austerities, and with his companion, St. Asicus, strove to make daily advances in perfection, singing hymns and psalms together, and encouraging each other in mortification and self-denial. He is said to have been miraculously saved from a pack of hungry wolves who surrounded him. He was an indefatigable opposer of paganism and all its superstitions, freely exposing his life amongst the most bitter, threatening them with divine vengeance if they would not give up their idolatry. He destroyed their idols and denounced their wicked practices. He was also a stern opponent of slavery and secured the freedom of many. A pagan chief having captured in a raid a beautiful Christian maiden he determined that she should submit to his wishes. The saint hearing of it boldly demanded her liberation, at which the chief laughed at him as a meddling fool. The saint, in his indignation, told him that the moment he attempted to defile the vessel of the Holy Spirit in that moment he should die, and it so happened. The maiden was immediately let free and returned to her rejoicing friends. Our Saint, assisting Patrick in the conversion of Connaught, was placed over the See of Killala about 434. He died in about 455.

James O'Brien, Irish Celts: a cyclopedia of race history, containing biographical sketches of more than fifteen hundred distinguished Irish Celts, with a chronological index, (Detroit, 1884).

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