Friday, 28 December 2018


From Thomas Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy:

Aedbeeccan the high place of Breccan in the barony of Navan and within two miles of that town St Breccan was the brother of St Carnech of Clonleigh See which in county Donegal Ardbreccan was a see of which this saint was bishop According to Ware Brecan was alive in 650 The death of his brother Carnech according to Colgan occurred about the year 530 These dates would at least give Breccan an age of 120 years in the supposition of his birth in the lifetime of the abbot of Clonleigh Either Ware is wrong in assigning that year to his death or we must suppose that Breccan was born long after the decease of his brother The feast of St Breccan is marked at the 16th of July He is also one of the four prophets of Ireland One of his predictions has been fulfilled centuries after it was delivered Among the natives of Ireland who were much given to narratives of this sort are recorded many predictions which have been fulfilled long since in the unfortunate history of Irish oppression and to which they still cling with confidence as they give a hope of its future deliverance from the yoke of England one of which still adhered to is that the liberation of our isle of saints and sages of the brave and the beautiful will be accomplished by the descendants of our own sons in this land of freedom and happiness As the prediction of Breccan has been fulfilled long since may the latter one be soon realized if it be so ordained in the councils of Heaven Of Breccan's prophecy the words are subjoined in Irish but in common characters as the Celtic ones could not be printed Tigfaid geinti tar muir mean Measgfaid air fearaibh Eireann Budh uathaibh ah air gach cill Budh uathaibh Ri fear Erinn The following lines are the translation of those prophetic words Erin's white crested billow shall sleep on the shore And its voice shall be mute while the spoilers glide o er And the strangers shall give a new priest to each shrine And the sceptre shall wrest from her own regal line The prophecy of Breccan has been verified and English heresy has given to the shrines of Irish saints Ministers who banished God's priests and laughed his religion to scorn AD 657 and on the 4th of September died St Ultan bishop of Ardbreccan He is surnamed Hua Conchovar O Connor and is said to have been related to St Brigid by her mother's side and is supposed the founder of this see instead of his predecessor He wrote a life of St Patrick and also a treatise concerning the transactions of St Brigid A hymn is attributed to him which he wrote in Latin and in praise of the sainted abbess of Kildare Nennidhe Lamhglan is mentioned too as the author of that hymn This St Nennidhe called the clean handed is different from another of the name and surnamed Laomh dearg abbot and bishop of Inis muighe samh county Fermanagh who was highly respected and is reckoned among the chief founders of the Irish monasteries The cleanhanded was a student at Kildare when St Brigid happening to be with some of her nuns not far from tho monastery saw him running very fast and in an unbecoming manner She sent for him and on his coming up appearing somewhat abashed at the message of the saint asked him whither he was running in such haste he replied as if in jest that he was running to the kingdom of heaven I wish said Brigid that I deserved to run along with you to day to that kingdom pray for me that I may arrive there Affected by the observation of the holy abbess he requested that she would offer up her prayers for his pursuing a steady course towards heaven She then prayed for him and the Almighty was pleased to touch his heart so that he did penance and ever after led a most religious life She next foretold him that he was the person from whose hand in due time she would receive the holy viaticum on the day of her death Nennidhe went afterwards to Britain where ho remained until near the time that St Brigid died From the care he took in keeping clean the hand that was to administer the viaticum to the patroness of Ireland he got his surname Tirechan a disciple of St Ultan who wrote the acts of St Patrick was the immediate successor of this saint AD 731 died the abbot Daniel Mac Colman AD 760 died the abbot St Tola AD 779 died St Algnied bishop of Ardbreccan His festival is marked in some calendars at the 8th of March AD 886 Ardbreccan was laid waste by the Danes AD 992 they repeated their ravages AD 1014 died Dubhslaine a priest of this abbey and prime anchorite of all Ireland AD 1031 Sitric of Dublin with his Danes plundered and burned the abbey carried off upwards of two hundred prisoners as many more having perished in the flames AD 1055 died Moelbrigidhe a professor of this abbey AD 1136 Dermot Mac Murrough king of Leinster burned this abbey AD 1166 Moriertach king of Ireland granted a parcel of land to this abbey in perpetuity at the yearly rent of three ounces of gold AD 1170 the steeple of this abbey fell The memory of St Breccan is revered in the island of Aran where a church is dedicated to his name His tomb having been opened to receive the body of a Catholic clergyman who desired to be buried therein a slab was found with an inscription in contracted Irish letters requesting a prayer for Brecan the pilgrim See Aran county of Galway In Brechin now the county of Angus in Scotland is a round tower the door of which has the figure of our Saviour on the cross which surmounts the entrance with two images or statues towards the middle and which clearly shew it to have been the work of a Christian architect Sir Walter Scott observes in his Review of Ritson's Annals of the Caledonians that the round towers of Abernethy and Brechin were built after the introduction of Christianity of which there can be no doubt as the figure of the crucifixion indicates and adds in all probability by or under the direction of Irish monks who brought Christianity into Scotland See Domnach more in this county

Friday, 30 November 2018


From Thomas Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy:

Dunshaughlin in the barony of Ratoath and within fourteen miles of Dublin St Secundinus who was a native of Gaul and a bishop about 439 fixed his residence at Dunshaughlin He is also named as a nephew of St Patrick by his sister Liemania St Seachnal or Secun dinus died in the year 448 and the seventy fifth of his age He was a very wise and holy prelate and the first bishop who died in Ireland AD 1026 Gearr an Choggay preyed and sacked this abbey On the next succeeding day he and his two brothers met their merited fate and were all three slain AD 1027 the abbot Donoghu esteemed the most learned philosopher in Ireland died at Cologne in Germany AD 1040 died the abbot Dermod O Seachnasy AD 1043 the abbey was destroyed by fire AD 1152 the sept of Hy Bruin plundered the abbey Feartachearbain near Tarah A St Cerban is mentioned as bishop of this place His death is assigned to the year 500 Nothing more is known of him Indenen in the territory of Bregia and in the neighborhood of Slane AD 849 Suarlech of Indennen attended a convention at Armagh with the clergy of Meath AD 902 died the abbot Ferghil who was bishop of Finnabrach AD 920 died the abbot Maolpoil MacAililla who was respected as a bishop anchorite and scribe and esteemed the most learned of the Northern Irish Innismochda near Slane was pillaged by the Danes AD 940

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Forgotten Saints

The Feast of the All the Saints of Ireland is celebrated on 6th November. Very many of the Saints of Ireland are still remembered by the people today but very many more are forgotten. This may be for two reasons, first, because of their multitude in number, since the celebration of the feast of each Saint of Ireland would surely deprive us of the opportunity to celebrate so many Saints on the Universal Calendar of the Church, and, secondly, because the brilliance of many outshines the luminous sanctity of so many more.

“Archbishop Usher, on the authority of some very old and authentic manuscript, which throws much light on our ancient ecclesiastical history, divides the saints who flourished in Ireland during the fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries into three classes.

Dr. Lanigan is of opinion that this catalogue was written before the year 715, the period at which the disputes about the tonsure and the Paschal cycle had concluded.

The first class consisted of one hundred and fifty bishops, who were all founders of churches and eminent for sanctity. Those bishops were Romans, Britons, Franks, and Scots (Irish)… This class was called most holy.

The second class commenced from the year 542, the latter end of the reign of Tuathal, and continued to AD 598 or 599. This class consisted of three hundred saints, few of whom were bishops, the greater part having been priests… This order was called very holy.

The third order of saints consisted or holy priests and a few bishops, in all one hundred in number, who dwelt in deserts, and lived on herbs, water, and alms… The first order (or class) most holy; the second very holy; the third holy. The first burns brightly like the sun, the second like the moon, and the third like the stars.”

From: The Diocese of Meath, Ancient and Modern, by Rev. A. Cogan, C.C., Published in Dublin, 1862.

However, these holy men and women should not be forgotten.

“…we are greatly helped not only by theological investigation but also by that great heritage which is the “lived theology” of the saints. The saints offer us precious insights which enable us to understand more easily the intuition of faith, thanks to the special enlightenment which some of them have received from the Holy Spirit…” John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte, 27

“The saints are like beacons; they show men and women the possibilities open to human beings. They are therefore also culturally interesting, independently of the cultural, religious or investigatory approach to them.” Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, C.M.F., Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints

We hope to restore to memory some of the Saints associated with the Diocese of Meath.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

St. Erk of Slane

St. Erk of Slane, Bishop
Friend of St. Brigid of Kildare, co-consecrator of St. Conleth, first Bishop of Kildare.

“St. Erk, ‘the sweet spoken judge’, was, in all probability, a native of Munster; and is said to have been page to King Laoghaire at the time he showed this respect to St. Patrick. [Lanigan, vol. 1, p. 346] He was consecrated some time before the year 465, and was the first bishop of the ancient diocese of Slane, and abbot of the monastery which was erected there by St. Patrick. He is said to have been the preceptor of St. Brendan, and was an intimate friend of St. Brigid. At the synod of Magh-Femyn, in Tipperary, it is related that Erk spoke highly of the great abbess of Kildare, and of the miraculous favours with which she was endowed by the Almighty. He assisted at the consecration of Conlaeth, first bishop of Kildare, and took an active part in all the ecclesiastical movements of the age… Colgan says that, in the old calendars, Ercus is treated of on 2nd of October and 2nd of November Probus, writing of him in the tenth century, says: “Hercus, filius Dego, cujus reliquae nunc venerantur in civitate, quae vocatur Slane.”

From: The Diocese of Meath, Ancient and Modern, by Rev. A. Cogan, C.C., Published in Dublin, 1862.

St. Erk of Slane, pray for us!

Monday, 2 July 2018

Pilgrimage to Kilcock, Co. Kildare

Members and friends of the Catholic Heritage Association joined together last Saturday for a Traditional Latin Mass for the repose of the soul of one of our founder members.

Reports of previous Traditional Latin Masses organised by the Association in Kilcock can be found here: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017.

The Patroness of the Parish is St. Coca. You can find out more about her here.

St. Ninian of Scotland began his career in Cloncurry, also in the Parish. You can find out about his connection with Kilcock here.

Buildings of Ireland gives a detailed description of the Church of St. Coca here.

Monday, 25 June 2018

First Pilgrimage to Tullamore

It was a joyful privilege for members and friends of the Catholic Heritage Association to be joined by so many people from Tullamore and the surrounding Parishes for our first pilgrimage to the Church of the Assumption, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, last Saturday.

The Parish website gives an excellent history of the Catholic Heritage of Tullamore, on the occasion of the recent centenary of the Church, here, with a survey of the Church building here.  Buildings of Ireland, as ever, has a thorough appraisal of the Church itself here.  Archiseek has another excellent piece here.

Our good friends at Tullamore Parish have posted some photos of the Mass on their excellent Parish website here. Mary with her loving Son, bless us each and every one!

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Latin Mass Pilgrimage to Kilcock, Co. Kildare

We are returning to St. Coca's Church, Kilcock, Co. Kildare, on Saturday, 30th June, for a Traditional Latin Mass at 12 noon.

Come and Pray!