St. Colman of Cloyne, Bishop
Born in Munster, Ireland, 522-530; died c. 600. Son of Lenini, he
became the royal bard to the kings at Cashel. His job as the
"sun-bright bard" entailed the roles not only of poet and musician, but
also of chronicler and genealogist. It is said that he became a
Christian after rescuing from a lake the stolen shrine with the relics
Saint Ailbhe (f.d. September 12).
And what does this have to do with his conversion?
Saint Brendan of Clonfert (f.d. May 16)
came to Cashel to resolve a dispute. While he
was there the grave and relics of Saint Ailbhe were discovered. Colman
lifted the shrine from the water. Saint Brendan said that hands that
had been sanctified by touching such holy remains should not remain the
hands of a pagan. So it happened that at age 50 MacLenini was baptized
Colman by Saint Brendan.
Thereafter, Brendan placed him under the care of
Saint Jarlath (f.d. June 6)
at Clonfuis and took him to his own mother,
Saint Ita (f.d. January 15),
for counselling. Colman embraced the monastic life, was
ordained, and preached in Limerick and Cork. In the "Life of Saint
Columba of Terryglass," Colman is said to have been
Saint Columba's (f.d. June 9)
teacher and guardian. Late in life he founded the church
of Cloyne in County Cork and became its first bishop. Colman is the
patron saint of Cloyne in eastern Cork.
Five of Colman's sisters, the "daughters of Lenin," comprised a small
religious community at Killiney Hill, County Dublin, which is named
after their church: "Cill Inghean Leinin" or Kilmaclenine, which is now
a national monument
Troparion of St Colman of Cloyne
Leaving thy post as bard of Cashel and embracing the monastic life, O
thou didst employ thy God-given poetic talents teaching
our holy and saving faith.
Wherefore O Saint, pray to God that He would
bestow again the gift of words that the Faith may be taught in these
islands for the salvation of many souls.
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Page last updated: 2 January 2009
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