Monday 18 July 2011

St. Cobhthach, Abbot of Kildare

July 18 is the feastday of a ninth-century Abbot of Kildare whom the Irish Annals describe as 'a wise man and learned doctor'. Here is Canon O'Hanlon's entry for Saint Cobhthach, taken from volume 7 of his Lives of the Irish Saints:

St. Cobhthach, Abbot of Kildare. [Ninth Century.]

We are informed by Colgan, that a St. Cobhthach, son of Muiredach, was an Abbot at Kildare, and that he was a man of singular wisdom. He appears to have been venerated, on the 18th of July. In an ancient Irish Poem, his merits have been extolled. It is quoted in the Annals of the Four Masters, and it has thus been translated into English:—

" Cobhthach of the Cuirreach of races, intended King of Liphthe of tunics,
Alas! for the great son of Muireadhach. Ah grief! the descendant of the comely fair Ceallach.
Chief of scholastic Leinster, a perfect, comely, prudent sage,
A brilliant shining star was Cobhthach, the successor of Connladh."

How long he ruled there is not recorded, but he probably succeeded Ceallach, son of Ailell, Abbot of Cill-dara, and the Abbot of Iona, who died in Pictland, A.D. 863, or 865.

The death of the present holy Abbot Cobhthach has been assigned to the year 868, or 869.


Philly said...

I think these are the most valuable posts on your site. I love the way that they remember the saints who went before.

Virginia said...

A lament for the descent of the comely Ceallach. What a beautiful line.

Veronica Lane said...

As Benedict XVI wrote to the Irish some time ago it is only be returning to the spirit of their fathers in faith that the Irish will regain the spiritual gifts that were so long theres.

Veronica Lane said...

Am I allowed a second comment? In thinking over and rereading your posts, Brigit, I would like to make a small suggestion, which is that you could if you have the time add a personal insight of what quality we should imitate in this saint or that and how we might go about imitating him. It seems to me that so many of the commenters are saying that same thing that they want to see these forefathers in faith imitated. Just a thought.

Jim'll Fix It! said...

It would be of great interest to me to collect together all the saints and great souls of Kildare and look at their feasts and what was common to them all, maybe a spirituality of Kildare.

Phographic Mementos said...

I liked this a lot

Brigit said...

Thanks for your comments and suggestion Veronica. I have only concerned myself with the historical aspect of writing up the lives of the Irish saints. At the moment I am so immersed in the detail and the work itself that I probably can't see the wood for the trees. But yours is a valuable suggestion and it's good to see that the lives of the saints are acting as an inspiration.