Saturday, 5 August 2017

St. Manman of Clonaslee

The village of Clonaslee, nestled in the Slieve Bloom Mountains of County Laois, was the site of two seventh century monasteries founded by St. Manman. One was Carrigeen, meaning hermitage of the rocks, and the second, almost two miles north of the village, is Kilmanman, meaning the Church of Manman.

Carrigeen, also know as Lanchoil or Lahoil, is said to have been the hermitage of the Saint. Kilmanman was the larger of the two foundations and is the site of considerable remains of a later fifteenth century Church. Nearby, there is a Holy Well called St. Manman's Well.

Information upon the life of St. Manman is so scarce that even Dr. Comerford in his Collections relating to the Dioceses of Kildare and Leighlin, Vol. 3, 1886, gives the mere fact of his existence and passes on to later times for which more material was available. Likewise, Canon O'Hanlon's History of Queen's County gives but passing information.

His name, at least in the form in which it is known today, does not appear on any of the ancient Irish Calendars but local tradition establishes his pattern day as 5th August. However, that his name survives and that his memory holds the respect that it does is a lesson to us to remember, however dimly, our holy Fathers in the Faith.

St. Manman of Clonaslee, pray for us!