Among the Cloud of Irish Witnesses


January 2
Munchin, abbot, Limerick diocese, 7th century

Munchin, affectionately known as "the wise" is honoured in Limerick and is called that city's patron.

We pray for the bishop, clergy and people of the diocese of Limerick, giving thanks for the tradition of prayer and study begun by Munchin, the "little monk", in a golden period of Irish Christianity and Celtic monastic life. S.

Source of all wisdom,
you so inspired your servant Munchin
that he became affectionately known as 'The Wise':
Renew in your church the tradition of prayer and study,
that we may for ever honour you with heart, soul and mind;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

January 31
Edan, bishop, Ferns diocese, 632

This bishop, the founder of Ferns, is variously spelt as Edan. or Aedan, or M'-Aed-oc (Mogue). He symbolises the close link between Ireland and Wales: Ferns might be said to be twinned with Menevia.

We remember in prayer all who serve in the diocese of Ferns, with special concern for its agricultural and industrial life throughout the county of Wexford.
We pray too for the Church in Wales, recalling the traditional, though not chronological, spiritual relationship between David of Wales and Mogue of Ferns.
We ask for God's blessing on the life and worship of the beautifully-ordered cathedral at Ferns, remembering in our intercessions the dean and chapter as well as the congregation. S.

God, in the persons of your bishops Edan and David
you linked the young churches of Wales and Ireland:
Help us to rejoice in the spiritual relationships
we enjoy in the fellowship of your church;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

March 5
Kieran of Seirkeiran. Ossory diocese. circa 545

Kieran or Ciaran was both bishop and monk. Born in West Cork, but from an Ossory family, he appears to have travelled to Europe where he was ordained. On his return to Ireland he settled at Seir (Saighir) near Birr, first as a hermit and then as abbot of a large monastery there. He also had a hermitage on the island of Cape Clear, off West Cork. Fascinating tales of his life surrounded by the animals of his neighbouring woods have often been re-told.

We remember on this day two dioceses, Ossory and Killaloe. Each has a share in the life and history of Seirkeiran.
We pray for Europe as well as our own country, for peace and understanding among the nations, for the European Community and the part played in it by our country.
We pray for those who work for the conservation of the countryside and its wild-life. S.

Lord God,
maker of all things wise and wonderful,
all creatures great and small:
We recall with thanksgiving your servant, Keiran,
who lived close to your creation.
Make us mindful of our responsibility for the good earth
in which you have placed us,
and guide us to preserve that which you have given
for the well-being of the world;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

March 24
Macartan, bishop. Clogher diocese. circa 505

Tradition names Macartan as the "strong man" of Saint Patrick, who established the church in Clogher and spread the Gospel in Tyrone and Fermanagh. An eighth century manuscript of the gospels, associated with a silver shrine, Domnach Airgid, in the Royal Irish Academy, is linked with the early Christian life of Clogher diocese .

We pray for the life and worship of the two diocesan cathedrals, dedicated to Saint Macartan, one in the village of Clogher, the other in the town of Enniskillen.
We remember the bishop, clergy and people, giving thanks for their witness for peace and reconciliation, and that, in our times, "Enniskillen" has symbolised courage and tolerance in the midst of suffering and conflict. S.

Heavenly Father,
we thank you for Macartan, faithful companion of Saint Patrick,
and builder of your church in Clogher:
Build up your church through those whom you call to leadership
in this generation,
and strengthen your church to proclaim the gospel
of reconciliation and peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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