Thursday, 31 December 2015

Saints Lochan and Enda of Kilmanagh, December 31

The Irish Calendars for December 31 agree in commemorating two saints, Lochan and Enda, along with Pope Sylvester. The Martyrology of Oengus reads:

31. Lochan and Endae.
Silvester, noble desire!
from their feast - no very feeble leap
let us strive to step to the calends (of January).

The scholiast notes:

31. Lochan and Enda, in Cell na manach in Hui Dunchada are those two, and in Cell maic Cathail in Hui Bairrchi, i.e. in Belach Giabrain.

The Martyrology of Donegal concurs:

31. A. PRIDIE KAL. JANUARII. 31.

ENDA and LOCHAN, of Cill-na-manach, in Ui-Dunchadha, or of Cill-mac-Cathail, in Ui-Bairche; and of Bealach Gabhrain. Lochan was of the race of Dathi, son of Fiachra.

The site of Cill-na-manach, literally ' the church of the monks' is in County Kilkenny, although there is another site of the same name near Tallaght, County Dublin. I haven't been able to discover a great deal about these two saints but they are mentioned in a nineteenth-century paper by the Irish cleric J.F. Shearman. He produced a most interesting series of articles under the title Loca Patriciana and attached an appendix on the Monastery of Kilmanagh to part ten of this. He writes:
Lochan, son of Cathal, the grandson of Oilill, K.I., 463-483, son of Dathi, K.I., 405-428, and Enda were connected with Acadh Finnech (December 13th, “Martyrology of Donegal"). Lochan was also connected with a church in the diocese of Leithglin, now Kilmacahil (Cill Mic Cathail), in the county Kilkenny. The Abbot Garbhan, the friend of St. Kevin, was of this monastery. 
Rev. J. F. Shearman, Loca Patriciana - Part X, Journal of the Royal Historical and Archaeological Association of Ireland, 4th series, Vol. 4, (1876-8) 88-9. 

I think the writer has accidentally misquoted the Martyrology of Donegal to read December 13 instead of 31.

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