Monday, 10 August 2015

St. Aenna Ua Laoghsigh of Clonmacnoise

From O’Hanlon’s, Lives of the Irish Saints, Vol. 1, 20th January, Article III.

St. Aenna or Genu Ua Laighsigh, Abbot of Clonmacnoise, King's County. [Sixth Century.] The utility of ancient monastic orders is not disputed at the present day by the most adverse writers, or by the most erratic philosophers. It is very generally allowed, that the monks admirably paid the debt, owed by them to society at large, and that they became chief agents for social happiness, the moralists, and the civilizers of barbarous habits, especially during the fifth and sixth centuries. 'A man of ability,' but unhappily thinking differently from Christians, has yet acknowledged that he who admires civilization, at those periods, should be with the Church and with the monks, who were her defenders. A festival in honour of Genu Ua Laighsigh, Abbot of Cluain-mic-Nois, is set down in the Martyrology of Tallagh, at the 20th of January. A later calendar adds a few additional particulars, to distinguish this saint. From the Martyrology of Donegall we learn, that veneration was given this day to Aenna Ua Laighsigh, successor to Ciaran of Cluain-mic-Nois. He belonged to the race of Leighseach Leann-mhor, son of Conall Cearnach. This saint flourished in the sixth century, the contemporary of St. Ita of Killeedy. It has been remarked, according to the Annals of the Four Masters, of Clonmacnoise, etc.. both St. Ita and St. Eneas died wathin the same year, a.d. 569. And not this alone, but, it is stated, both saints died within a week of each other — St. Ita having departed on the 15th of January, and St. Eneas five days afterwards, or on the 20th of this same month, according to the Martyrologies of Aengus, Tallagh, and Marianus Gorman. These concurring circumstances, in a remarkable manner, tend to establish the credibility of those statements contained in St. Ita's life, and to show that its author was a trustworthy chronicler of events, which he undertook to place upon record.

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