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Died c. 505; feast day formerly March 24. Saint Macartin (in Irish - Aedh mac Carthin) was an early disciple and companion of Saint Patrick during the latter's missions into pagan territory. He is said to have been consecrated bishop of Clogher in Tyrone by Patrick in 454. It is said the Saint Brigid, Macartin's niece, was present at the founding of the see. Tradition names Macartan as the strong man of Saint Patrick, who established the church in Clogher and spread the Gospel in Tyrone and Fermanagh.

Macartin is also one of the earliest Irish saints to be known as a miracle-worker. His holiness is revealed not so much by any "vita," which are non-existent, but by the high veneration in which he is held. Saint Bede records that the earth was taken from his grave as holy relics. His Office is the only one to survive from an Irish source.

A reliquary, called the Great Shrine of Saint Mac Cairthinn, which was designed to contain relics of the True Cross as well as his bones, has been altered over the centuries but still survives as the Domnach Airgid in the National Museum. Its inner yew box was given to Macartin by Patrick together with the latter's episcopal staff and Bible.

The Cloch-Oir (Golden Stone), from which this ancient diocese takes its name, was a sacred ceremonial stone to the druids, It was given to Macartin by an old pagan noble, who had harassed Macartin in every possible way until the saint's patient love won the local ruler to the faith. The stone is still preserved and the noble's son, Tighernach of Clones, succeeded Macartin as bishop (Benedictines, D'Arcy, Farmer, Healy, Kenney, Montague, Muirhead, Needham).

See "Cumdachs and Polaires Medieval Irish Book Shrines and Book Satchels"

*** The following Hymn in honour of St. MacCarthen was recently discovered in an old MS. of the Diocesan Library of Cashel, and was inserted in the Cashel Gazette, December 19th, 1868. It is probably the hymn which, as we learn from Ware, was composed by Patrick Culin, Bishop of Clogher, who died in 1534. Our prelate (writes Ware) was accounted a person of considerable knowledge, both in antiquities and poetry, and was the author of a hymn of ten stanzas in metre, in praise of St. MacCarthen, first Bishop of Clogher, which is extant in manuscript among the collections of the late Archbishop King (Ware's Bishops, page 187).



A NOBLE feast we celebrate,
A holy man we venerate,
Great Mac-Carten it is he,
Hear us, blessed Trinity.


A confessor in faith was he,
A virgin in his chastity,
A martyr too in heart and will,
An Apostle preaching still.


Most innocent of sinful guile,
He guided others, and the while
Many wonders wrought in praise
Of his Maker all his days.


By carnal thought he never sinned,
Riotous fools he disciplined,
And in his holy life enwrought,
The pattern fair of all he taught


No suppliant ever came in vain,
Oppressed by toil or weary pain,
But by the grace his blessing shed,
He departed comforted.


Sight and hearing were restored)
Fled the leper's spot abhorred,
The dying from their deathbed rose,
As the priest Mac-Carten chose.


Oftimes the sick he visited,
And raised to life the nearly dead,
And many tribes baptized he
In St. Patrick's company.


Upon the earth he lived to God,
And in his Master's footprints trod.
Thus conquering the world at last,
He to eternal glory passed.


He could do much on earth before,
Happy in heaven he can do no more.
May Mac-Carten keep us free
From pain of endless misery !


Thee God as three in one we own,
From whom the precious grace comes down,
By which thy clergy here are blessed
With earnest of eternal rest.

Irish Ecclesiastical Review, Vol 6, 1869, 275-276

and the Latin original which appeared in the previous volume:


Episcopi Clocherensis et fundatoris Monasterii Clocherentis, qui obiit 9 Calend. Aprilis An. 506.

Festum dignum celebrantes
Sanctum virum venerantes
Makartinum et laudantes
Exaudi nos Trinitas.

Est confessor fide plane
Virgo fertur castitate
Martyr fatur sponte fame
Apostolus preedicans.

Qui peccati nescit fraudem
Et praelati vita tandem
Trinitati tulit laudem
In multis miraculis.

Sordes mentis formidabat
Stultas gentes castigabat
Quod exemplis solidabat
Per virtutis opera.

Laborantes in dolore
Supplicantes cum amore
Sed laetantes sunt favore
Precibus que praesulis.

Caecos surdos salutavit
Et iinmundos lepra lavit
Moribundos suscitavit
Makartinus Pontifex.

Infirmantes visitabat
Expirantes suscitabat
Plures gentes baptizabat
Cum Sancto Patricio.

Sancto Deo quasi vivit
Jeeu Christo obedivit
Mundo victo post exivit
Ad aeternam gloriam.

Hie in terris fuit fortis
Nunc in coelis bonae sortis
Nos a poena dirae mortis
Makartinus liberat.

Deus Trinus qui est unus
Quique nobis praestat munus
Quo sit clerus hie securus
In perenni gloria. Amen.

Irish Ecclesiastical Review, Vol 5, 1869, 185-187

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