Sunday, 24 January 2016

Saint Baodán of Mostrim, January 24

Although his name comes first in the entries for native saints in the Martyrology of Tallaght at January 24, Saint Baodán (Batan, Buatan), is an obscure figure. Canon O'Hanlon's account below seeks, unconvincingly it seems to me, to establish some Patrician credentials for him. Professor Ó Riain records in his Dictionary of Irish Saints that the name of the saint's locality, corrupted in the later calendars, was to be found in County Longford:

St. Batan or Buatan of Methuis Truim or Eathais-Cruimm. 

We read, in the Martyrology of Tallaght,  that veneration was paid to Batan Methais Truim on the 24th of January. But there may have been some mistake in the foregoing entry: it differs materially from that of Buatan, of Eathais-Cruimm, as recorded in the Martyrology of Donegal, on this day. There are many legends referring to St. Patrick in Jocelyn's life of him, and which seem to be strung together with little regard even to chronological order. It is probable, the followiiig has been intended to refer to the apostolic man's first visit to the western province :—St. Patrick, being about to pass the Shannon, a deep and rapid river, that runs between Meath and Connaught, could not get a boat to ferry him over. He prayed, therefore, to God for help. The earth, it is stated, arose so high in the river, that it afforded a dry passage to the saint and to all his company. This may be accounted for, however, by his selecting a place for passage that was fordable. The saint thought- it expedient for the advancement of religion to build a church on the banks of the Shannon, and where his charioteer was buried. It afterwards belonged to Armagh, says Jocelyn. But the Tripartite Life relates more fully, that this see claimed jurisdiction over the church, called Lill-Buadhmaoil, after one of St. Patrick's servants, named Buadmael, who died and was buried in that place, also near the River Shannon. He is enumerated among the disciples of St. Benignus. Nor could Colgan find anything more about him, only that in reference to a supposed saint, bearing this name, he throws out a loose conjecture.

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