Posted by: anna | April 8, 2010

St. Mochelloc of Killmallock

Today (26 March) we commemorate St. Mochelloc (Cellog, Mottelog, Motalogus) of Killmallock (639) and St Garbhan, abbot in Ireland.

Neither is mentioned in David Farmer’s Oxford Dictionary of Saints or Stanton’s Menology. Baring-Gould lists Mochelloc as one of the saints commemorated on 26 March, but without notes; even celt-saints gives only their names, no details. As often happens with Irish saints I have had to fall back on O’Hanlon for (mostly antiquarian) notes on both, but I don’t overlap in this (not this year anyway) with Brigid at Under the Oak – worth checking over there! O’Hanlon is the worst I have ever seen for over-commafying, so I have removed some, though not all the offenders.

St Mochelloc
This saint is called Mottelog, by some writers, but more correctly Celloc, Cellenus, or Kellenus, by others, who derive his name Mochelloc, by which he is best known, from the endearing prefix, “mo,” Anglicised into “my,” being joined with Chelloc. Certain authorities say that his father was named Oblen, and that he descended from the noble and ancient race of Connor, King of Ireland. However, Colgan is of opinion that Oblen must have been the name of his grandfather, or great-grandfather. The Martyrologies of Tamlacht and of Marianus O’Gorman, with the Irish Calendar, state, that our saint’s father had been named Tuladhran. So far have we been enabled to collect illustrations, in reference to this holy man’s genealogy, and the pedigree of a saint is at least interesting as that of a monarch. The Bollandists have published short Acts of this saint, and following closely the accounts of him, as left us, by Colgan. This pious servant of Christ was a relative to, and contemporary with, Finan, of Kinnetty.

Our saint appears to have flourished, about the close of the sixth, and beginning of the seventh, century. He is usually called Mochelloc, of Cathuir-mac-Conchaigh, or Conchaidh, an ancient city near Lismore, in the present county of Waterford. A query is proposed by Dr. Lanigan, if Mocollop, the name of a parish near Lismore, be not a corruption of Mochelloc? This, however, seems to be a conjecture not well sustained. The place of our saint was in the Munster Decies. Archdall declares himself unable to assign the exact location for Cathuir-mac-Conchaigh. We are told by Keating that this saint was founder of Kilmallock church, and this name is supposed to be a contraction from Kill-mochelloc. [Here is a long description of the town’s old architecture, or the ruins thereof.] Some writers ascribe the erection of a monastery, in this town, to our saint, without sufficient authority. He is said, likewise, to have discharged the offices of bishop and of abbot. But, these writers would appear to have fallen into an error, in saying, that the old monastery of our saint had been converted into the Protestant church, or that it was even situated on its site. It is possible, that as Kilmallock had become a more remarkable place than Cathuir-mac-Conchaigh, or the church of Kill-Odhrain—where likewise he was venerated —the former town might have been a bishopric, or abbey, over which Mochelloc presided. Kill-odhrain was perhaps only another name for Cathuirmac-Conchaigh, and this the Calendar of Cashel indicates. Having attained a very old age, our saint died, at a place called Letha —thought to have been Fiodh-Lethan, near Lismore—on the 26th of March, the day for his festival, after a.d. 639, and before a.d. 656, during the joint reigns of Connall and Kellach. Letha was a name, given by our historians to Latium, or Italy ; and, there are writers, according to Maguire, who say, that our saint died, in Rome. Others again tell us, that he departed at Killdachelloc, in Hy Cairpre, of Munster.

The festival of this holy man, with that of the two Sinchells, is found in the Festilogy of St. AEngus, at the 26th of March. The name Mochelloc, son of Tulodrain, of Calthir mic Conaich, is inserted, in the Martyrology of Tallagh, at the 26th of March. The Calendar of Cashel, Marianus 0’Gorman, and Cathal Maguire, mark his festival, at this same date. In the O’CIery’s Martyrology is found, at this date, as an entry, and within brackets : [Mocheallog, who died in Letavia.—Felire Aonghuis.] The Carthusian Martyrology distinguishes a Mottelog, Abbot and Confessor, from this saint, who is named Mokellock, Bishop and Confessor. There is hardly a doubt, but this is the Motalogus, mentioned at the 26th of March, in the anonymous list, published by O’Sullivan Beare. However, these names only characterize but one and the same person, the denomination being somewhat varied by different writers. The Kalendar of Drummond, at the vii. of the April Kalends, or 26th of March, commemorates ‘In Hibernia, the Holy Confessors, Mochelloc and Sinchele, who, on this day, went to Christ.’

St Garbhan

St. Garbhan, of Dungarvan, County of Waterford, or of Aghold, County of Wicklow. [Supposed to belong to the Sixth or Seventh Century] The festival of this saint is celebrated, on the 26th of March, according to our Irish Martyrologies ; and, on this day, his Acts are given, by Father John Colgan. The Bollandists observe, in their brief commemoration, that Garbanus Abbas de Achadh-abhall is in the Martyrology of Marianus O’Gorman, while Finianus de Achaidh-Garbhain, is in the Martyrology of Tallagh, while both seem to be regarded as identical, by Colgan. St. Garvan, or Garbban, was born in the sixth century, according to received accounts. These, however, are very obscure ; for, the Garban of Achadhabhall has been confounded, with the Finian of Achaidh-Garbhain. The present holy man is thought to have received his religious training, from St. Finbarr, in the monastery of Loch-Eire. This is the supposed site of the present Cork city, according to some writers ; while others state, it was identical with Gougane Barra. Here, Garbhan is said to have become distinguished, for piety and learning. About the beginning of the seventh century, when he had attained celebrity, St. Garvan was placed over a church, then called Achadh Garbhain. Antiquaries—for the most part following Colgan as an authority—have conjectured, that it occupies the present site of Dungarvan, a seaport town, in the county of Waterford. He ruled over a monastery, established at some place, similarly called ; for, the Martyrology of Donegal styles him. Abbot of Achadh Garbhain. Harris and Archdall follow the foregoing conjecture, which they assume to be an absolute statement; while the latter writer has it, that Garbhan, a disciple of Barr, founded an abbey at Dungarvan, although he could not discover any vestige of it. The town itself is situated on a point of land, formed by the estuaries of the rivers Brickey and Calligan. There are considerable ruins of the walls still remaining, as also of the principal castle, which is situated in the centre of the town. Our saint was a different person from St. Garbhan, son to Lugad, and a disciple of St. Kevin, who was venerated, on the 9th of July, near Dublin ; as likewise, from St. Garbhan, bishop and son to AEnguss, whose festival was celebrated, on the 21st of November. Such conclusion is sufficiently established, because the father to St. Garbhan, of Dungarvan, was named Finnbarr. Some doubt has been entertained, that our saint established a religious house at that place. The 26th of March was probably the day of his death—the year is unknown. The Martyrology of Tallagh simply records a different name, at the 26th of March, as Fintan, Achaidh Garbhain. Marianus O’Gorman, and Cathal Maguire, enter his festival, at this day. In the Martyrology of Donegal, we find mentioned, on to-day, as having been venerated, Garbhan, Abbot of Achadh. This, add the O’Clerys, may be Garbhan, of Gill Garbhain, Abbot of Achadh-abhall, and now known as Aghowle, or Aghold, in the county of Wicklow. If so, as they are pleased to state, his mother was Roighnach, sister of Finnian. There is a parish of Kilgarvan, in the county of Wexford. There, also, is to be found a St. Garvan’s well, where a patron was formerly held ; but, the festival day is not now remembered.

Holy Saints Mochelloc and Garbhan, pray to God for us.

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