Saturday 24 September 2011

Red Scapular of the Holy Passion

Another scapular which indicated the direct wishes of Our Lord Jesus Christ, is the red Scapular of the Passion. In 1846 Jesus Christ appeared to a sister of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul and showing her a scapular, promised a great increase of faith, hope, and charity to all who would wear it on every Friday. Pope Pius IX by Rescript of 25th June 1847 gave his sanction to the scapular, and bestowed on the Lazarists the faculty of blessing and investing with it.

The Scapular is of red wollen material, on one segment of which is an image of Jesus Christ on the Cross. At the foot of the Cross are the implements of the Passion and the inscription: "Holy Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, save us." On the other segment are shown the hearts of Jesus and Mary surmounted by a cross with the words: "Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary protect us".

Holy Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, save us!
Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary protect us!

Saturday 17 September 2011

The ones that got away - Doonane

The Parish Church in Doonane, as the sign says, was founded in 1712, making it the second oldest Church in the Diocese (after Rathcoffey in the Parish of Clane). St. Abban's, together with the Chapel of Ease at Mayo, represent the best examples of a very typical style of Church in the Diocese - T-shaped with three galleries, a shallow Sanctuary with lancets squeezed into the side walls, and a sacristy behind that forms the rest of the cruciform footprint. They also retain the earlier style of dark wooden Altars and rails that has almost everywhere been replaced by marble or by modern re-orderings. The plasterwork is also worth noting.

Dr. Comerford, in the Third Series of his Collections relating to the Dioceses of Kildare and Leighlin, give the following short entry for the Parish of Doonane:

"The name of this parish is derived from Dun-an, "the little fort." Dun was anciently, and still is, frequently applied to the great forts, with a high central mound, flat at top, and surrounded by several - very usually three - earthen curcumvallations; these fortified duns, so many of which remain all over the country, were the residences of the kings and chiefs; they are constantly mentioned as such in the Irish authorities... the diminutive in an is not common, but it gives name to some places, such as... Doonane in Queen's County. - (Joyce.)

"Dr. Doyle describes this parish as consisting of a portion of the Abbacy of St. Abban, and of the parish of Rathaspick. Its formation into a distinct cure appears to be an arrangement of comparatively recent date. It is not referred to by name in the Registry of 1704, in the Returns of 1731 and 1766, or in Dean Skelton's list of parishes. The ancient parish of Rathaspick, as has been already stated, extended into not only this and the adjoining modern parish of Ballyadams, but also into that of Clough, in the diocese of Ossory..."

"Killgorey. This is the Cill-gabhra with which one, if not more than one, of our earliest Irish Saints was identified. The Martyrologies of Donegal and Tallaght, at June 24th, have 'Lon of Cill Gabhra.' In the List of the Bishops of Kildare, as given in the Red Book of the Earl of Kildare, two bishops are named as having preceded St. Conlaeth in that See, the first of whom was called Lony. As Cill Gabhra was in the immediate vicinity of Sletty, the learned author of Loca Patriciana considers that Lon or Lonius may be identified with Lonan, the son of Dubhtach the Druid, who, like his brother, was associated for a time with their cousin St. Fiacc. He thus would be one of the Four true Druids supposed to be referred to in the famous Bilingual Inscription at Killeen Cormac - (See Loca Patr. Pt. IV.) Again, at September the 3rd, the Mart. of Donegal records St. Lonn or Loman Coisfin, i.e. of the white leg, of Cill Gaghra, Mairghe. There is a curious story related of his refusal to lend his books to St. Columba; this is referred to in the scholium in the Martyrology: "It is said that the book-satchels of Erinn and the Gospels, and the Lesson Books of the students fell from their racks on the night of Lon-Garadh's death, so that no person should understand them as Longaradh used to understand them. A very ancient vellum book states that Lon-garadh, in his habits and life, was like to Augustine, who was very wise." The Feilire of Aengus, at 3rd Sept., has: "Longarad, a delightful sun." Upon which the gloss in the Leaghar Breac comments: i.e. in Sleib Mairghe, or in Mag Tuathat in Offaly. Longarad the Whitelegged, in Mag Tuathat in the north of Ossory, i.e. in Ui-Foirchellain, i.e. in Mag Garad in Disart Garad especially, and in Cell Gabra in Sliab Mairge in Les Longarad. Whitelegged, i.e. a great white hair through his legs. Or bright-white were his legs.

A sage of learning, and history, and jurisprudence, and poetry was he. To Comumbcille chanced to come as a guest, and he hid his books from Columb, and Columbcille left his curse on Longarad's books, to wit: "May that," quoth he, "as to which thou has shown niggardliness be of no profit after thee." And this was fulfilled. For the books still remain, and no man reads them. Now when Longarad was dead, men of lore say this, that the book-satchels of Ireland fell down on that night. Or it is the satchels wherein were books of every science in the cell where Columbcille was, that fell down then, and Columbcille and every one in the house marvel, and all are silent at the noisy shaking of the books. "So then," said Columbcille, "Lon-garad in Ossory," quoth he, "a sage in every science, has now died." "May it be long till that comes true," quoth Baithin. "Unfaith on the man in thy place," says Columbcille, et dixit Columbcille:

"Dead is Lon
Of Cell-garad - great the evil!
To Erin with her many homesteads
It is ruin of learning and schools.
Died hat Lon
In Cell Garad - great the evil!
It is ruin of the learning and schools
Of Erin's island over her border."

As St. Columbcille was not born till the year 520, the year after the death of St. Conlaeth, this story of the meeting between St. Lonn of Cill-gabhra and St. Columbcille would militate against the supposition of the former having preceded St. Conlaeth in the See of Kildare. It may, however, have been, - and the fact of different days being assigned to them in the Calendar of Donegal tends to prove it, - that there were two Saints Lonn connected wtih killgorey. An ancient grave-yard, still extensively used, occupies the probable site of St. Lony's cell and oratory, the latter, no doubt, replaced in subsequent times by a public church. The trunk of a venerable tree remains, from an aperture in which, six feet from the ground, people still living state that they recollect to have seen water flow in a copious stream. Every available portion of the withered trunk is decorated with ex voto rags. The Saint's Well is immediately outside the burial-ground. A Patron used to be held here on the 24th of June; very old natives tell of crowds of people flocking to it, and of fields of tents set up for their accommodation. As has so frequently been the case, abuses resulting from these assemblages, caused the Patron to be discontinued; but even still, the well is resorted to by pilgrims, especially on festivals of the Blessed Virgin."

"Within the Chapel of Doonane two marble tablets have been raised to the memory of two former pastors of the parish. The following are the inscriptions:- 'Beneath are deposited the mortal remains of the Rev. Eugene Kelly, who laboured well in the sacred ministry for 44 years, during the last 31 of which he was the vigilant and zealous pastor of Doonane and Mayo. Having by word and example taught his flock the blessedness of walking blamelessly in the way of the Lord, this good priest, upon Easter Sunday, 1859, closed his earthly career in the precious peace procured by the bright hope which sustains the faithful Christian. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.-Apoc. xiv."

"+ Here lie the remains of Rev. James Kavanagh, P.P., who departed this life January 6th, 1876, aged 67 years. In your charity pray for the repose of his soul."

"Succession of Pastors. This district appears to have been formed into a separate parish towards the close of the last century. Gerald Byrne, P.P. of Stradbally from 1709 to 1724, had in charge, at the same time, Ballyadams and Doonane.

Rev. Patrick Wall was P.P. during the last quarter of the century; he lies interred at Arles, in the same grave with his brother, the Rev. James Wall, who died on the 27th of April, 1771, aged 49. The Right Rev. Francis Haly, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, and himself, a native of the parish of Doonane, was nephew to these priests. On the death of Fr. Wall. On the death of Fr. Wall, in 1815, Rev. Thomas Tyrrell was appointed; he was translated to Tinryland in 1823.

Rev. Cornelius Dowling succeeded; in 1826 he became P.P. of Stradbally, and had for his successor, Rev. Eugene Kelly; he dying in 1859, was succeeded by Rev. James Kavanagh, on whose death, which took place in 1876, Rev. Patrick Donohoe, the present Parish Priest, was appointed."

Blue Scapular of the Immaculate Conception

The blue scapular of the Immaculate Conception is worn by members of the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin and Mother of God, which was made an Arch-Confraternity in the year 1894. Indulgences were granted by the Pope Clement X who by the Brief of 30th January, 1671 also granted the faculty to bless and invest with this Scapular. The emblem is of blue wollen cloth, bearing on one portion a symbolization of the Immaculate Conception and on the other the name of Mary. Members of this Confraternity have their names registered on entolment, and they are forwarded to Rome or some other canonically erected confraternity. It is of interest to note that the foundress of the Order was privileged to have revealed to her in a vision the habit which was to be chosen.
Queen, conceived without original sin, pray for us!

Saturday 10 September 2011

Black Scapular of the Seven Dolours of Our Lady

Members of the Confraternity of Our Lady of the Seven Dolours honour the Seven Dolours of Mary, and wear the black scapular of the Order of Servites, sanctioned in 1255 by Alexander IV. The scapular is in black cloth like the habit of the Order, bearing an image on the front of it of the Mother of Sorrows. It bears the indulgences of the Confraternity if worn constantly, and one must go back to 9th March, 1888, for a summary of these indulgences approved by the Congregation of Indulgences.

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!

Saturday 3 September 2011

The Blessed Scapulars of the Church

The Kildare and Leighlin Year Book for 1956 contained a colour supplement entitled The Blessed Scapulars of the Church. The following series will contain the accounts of those scapulars from that colour supplement (except where otherwise stated). It begins with an introduction that is of its time but unfortunately may not be of ours:
A Brief History of the More Widely Known Scapulars

Ireland amongst the foremost Catholic nations of the world places implicit faith in the efficacy of the Scapular, and in no other country is there to be found an greater variety of this religious emblem, worn constantly by devout Catholics of all ranks and grades of society. There is a most interesting history attaching to each of these Scapulars.

The supplement ends with the following, incidentally, the only part of a Kildare and Leighlin Year Book that appears to carry an 'Imprimatur' or anything of the like:
Rules for the wearing of scapulars

The regulartions concerning the scapulars in general are as follows:-
1. The scapular may be given to any Catholic - even to an infant; and after he has come to the age of reasn he does not need any renewal of the investing.
2. It may be given in any place; the sick may receive it in their beds.
3. It must be worn so that one part hangs on the breast, the other on the back, with a band on each shoulder. If worn or carried otherwise, no indulgences are gained. It may be worn under all the clothing, or between the under and outer clothing.
4. After investment, it is never necessary to have the scapular blessed. When one is worn out or lost, the wearer simply puts on a new one.
5. The scapular should be worn constantly. It gives the wearer a share in certain spiritual benefits; laying it aside for a short time (an hour or a day) does not deprive him of these, but if it be not worn for a long time he loses all benefits during that time.

Nihil Obstat:

Joseph P. Newth, C.C.
Censor Theol. Deput.

Imprimi Protest:

Archiep. Dublinen., Hiberniae Primas
Dublini, die 31 Augusti anno 1955

Friday 2 September 2011

Saint Seanan of Laithrech-Briuin

September 2 is the feastday of a County Kildare saint, Seanan of Laithrech-Briuin. Canon O'Hanlon begins his account with a lament that he is one of the many Irish saints of whom we know little, but he must have been a figure of some standing as he is named as an attendee at the Synod of Dromceat in 580. For this re-post I have added the details of the entry for the day from the Martyrology of Aengus which appear in the footnotes in the original volume. I have also added the details and accompanying illustration of the church ruins as this may be of interest to people living in the local area.


WE have frequently to lament the loss of records, which might preserve the particular virtues and actions of individuals for the edification and emulation of all true Christians. As noticeable throughout all the previous volumes of this work, with the most earnest desire to render its several articles, more complete, documentary or traditional materials are not accessible, to rescue from obscurity the earthly career of so many among the children of light. Merely to learn their names—sometimes also those of their old places—and to know that they had lived, are all that can now be ascertained.

According to the Feilire-Aenguis, the Feast of St. Senan was celebrated in Lathrach Briuin, or Laraghbrine, in Ui-Foelain, on the 2nd of September. In conjunction with two other holy persons, Molotha and Theodota, the saint is praised for his noble qualities, and for their reward through Christ. In the Leabhar Breac copy of the Feilire of Oengus, is the following stanza, at this date thus rendered into English :—"

Molotha, Theodota (Theotimus?) with Senan
they are noble:
with fair Christ is their guerdon:
to his train they are dear."

The commentator identifies the present saint as connected with a well-known place. ..a gloss on the Feilire has " i. e. lathrach briuin inúib foelain." It is thus translated, "'with Senan,' i.e. of Lathrach Briuin in Ui-Foelain."

According to the Calendar of the O'Clerys, he belonged to the race of Eochaidh, son of Muireadh, who descended from the seed of Heremon. We are told, likewise, that Deidi, daughter to Trian, son of Dubhthach, was his mother. The pedigree of St. Senan of Laraghbrine is contained in the "Sanctilogic Genealogy." There he is called the son of Fintan, son to Strened, son of Glinder, son to Corc, son of Conned, son to Aengus, son of Fieg, son to Mail, son of Carthage, &c. His genealogy is then carried back to Heremon for fifty generations, or for about 1600 years. Marianus O'Gorman has noted this saint, in his Martyrology, at the present date. St. Senan must have flourished in the sixth century, and been a contemporary of the great St. Columbkille, for he is named as one of those ecclesiastics who attended the great Synod, held at Dromcreat in 580. On the 2nd of September, a festival is entered in the Martyrology of Donegal, to honour Seanan, of Laithrech Briuin, in the territory of Hy-Faelain. This place is also written Lathrach-Briuin. At present it is known as Laraghbrine, or Laraghbryan, where there is an old church and a cemetery, near Maynooth, in the Barony of North Salt, and County of Kildare.

The mediaeval church ruins of Laraghbrien are to be seen embowered with stately lime trees, and within a squarely-formed grave-yard, surrounded by a quadrangular wall. A gravel walk runs parallel with the walls on the interior. The church ruins measure 87 feet in length, exteriorly: they are 19 feet, 8 inches, in breadth. The walls are nearly 3 feet in thickness. There is a square tower, 13 feet by 15 feet, on the outside; and, it is entered by a low, arched door-way from the interior. Several square-headed opes are inside of it, and a ruined spiral stairway occupies one angle. This leads to a broken part of the wall, and showing that it ran much higher. There is a large breach in either side wall. Some ruined windows remain. Two of them have elegantly dressed heading and side stones, and in these formerly were iron bars. The building materials are of excellent limestone and mortar. There was a door in the north side-wall, parallel with the road from Maynooth to Kilcock. Circularly-arched door-ways and windows splayed are still to be seen in the walls. Traces of plaster are inside and outside the building, showing that it had been used for purposes of worship, and at no very remote date.

In his final footnote to the article Canon O'Hanlon comments: 'These observations and measurements were taken on the spot by the writer, in July, 1873. On that occasion, also, a sketch of the ruined church was obtained, which has been drawn, as here represented, on the wood and engraved by Gregor Grey.'