Posted by: anna | September 5, 2010

St Eoghan of Ardstraw

Today (23 August) we commemorate St. Eogan (Eoghan, Eugene, Eugenius, Owen, Tugean), 1st bishop of Ardstraw (618). Eoghain (and presumably the similar spellings) is pronounced Owen. Who invented Irish orthography?? … says the English speaker… From Dr Baring-Gould:
S. EOGAIN, B. OF ARDSTRAW. (about a.d. 558.)
[Irish Martyrologies. Authority : — A life in Latin of much the same date and character as those of most of the Irish Saints.]
EOGAIN or Eugenius was of a Leinster family by his father’s side, and of an Ulster one by his mother’s. In early childhood he was taken by pirates and carried to Britain, along with S. Tigernach. Nennius, bbot of Bangor, pitied the two little captives, who were in the service of one of the Welsh princes, and begged them of him. They were given to him, and he took them to Bangor. But pirates attacked the abbey, and amongst the booty carried away Eogain, Tigernach, and a lad named Corpreus, afterwards Bishop of Coleraine. They were sold in Brittany, and were placed to work at a mill grinding corn. But one day the king found the three lads reading. He at once ordered them to be released from their irksome labour, and to be sent back to Bangor, whence they had been stolen.
After some years Eogain and Tigernach went to Ireland, and Eogain settled at Killmanach in Leinster, and spent in that monastery fifteen years of his life, with S. Kevin, his cousin. He afterwards founded the monastery of Ardstraw, and was consecrated bishop. The date of his death cannot be fixed with certainty, but it was probably not many years after 550.
Brigit at Under the Oak, editing O’Hanlon
for anyone interested in a more general overview of Brittany that pays particular attention to the early saints in that region – as so many of them had close ties in one direction or the other with the British Isles – try Baring-Gould’s ‘Little Guide’ to Brittany. Also in this series not so much to do with saints, though such a thing could be done) is ‘Oxford and its Colleges’ with beautiful line drawings by EH New.
Troparion of St Eogan tone 4

O great traveller Eogan who didst traverse Christian Europe in thy zeal for Christ,/ trained by Saint Ninian thou wast a wise teacher of the Faith./ Glory to God Who has glorified thee.

Holy St Eoghain, pray to God for us.


  1. Fear not, I think you'll find most Irish people call him Saint Eugene. 😉

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