Among the Cloud of Irish Witnesses


July 6
Moninne of Killeavy, Armagh diocese. 518

Moninne, sometimes called Darerca or Bline, founded a small monastery for women (eight virgins and one widow, according to one tradition). She continued in Killeavy, not far from Newry, the spirit of the teaching and pastoral concern of Patrick and Brigid.

We give thanks for the many women who have served the church either as individuals or as members of a community or fellowship over the years.
We pray for those women in the Church's ministry and for those preparing for ordination.
We give thanks for women who have gone out from Ireland to serve the Church overseas.
We give thanks for the clubs and societies, for the Mothers' Union, the Girls' Friendly Society, and the other uniformed organizations for girls.
We remember the work of the Christian Renewal Centre, Rostrevor, praying for the promotion of peace and spiritual co-operation. S.

during his ministry on earth
your Son accepted the devotion and service of many woman.
We thank you for the devoted life of
Moninne of Slieve Gullion in Armagh
and the many other woman whom you used
in the building of the Church in this land.
Bless all women in the Ministry of your Church today,
that it may be renewed and strengthened, to your honour and glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

July 8
Kilian, bishop and martyr. Kilmore diocese. 689

Kilian from Cavan was a missionary to Franconia and rebuilt the Church in Baden and Bavaria. Many pre-Reformation cathedrals in Germany and Austria were dedicated in honour of Kilian, pre-eminent among them being that at Würzburg, where with two companions he was murdered in 689.

We pray for links with the Church in Germany.
We pray for the development of the European Union.

God, you called missionaries from Ireland with Saint Killian
to take the message of the gospel to Franconia and Bavaria;
Grant that the church may draw strength from their examples,
and never lack zeal
to proclaim your love when the going is difficult:
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

July 24
Declan, bishop. Lismore diocese. 5th century.

Declan, of Ardmore in West Waterford, was a prince of the tribe of Decies among whom there were Christians prior to the coming of Patrick. It is believed that when Patrick was escaping from slavery he received Christian hospitality among the Decies. The round tower (95 feet in height) at Ardmore is probably the best surviving example of its kind.

We give thanks for the earliest Christian witness in Ireland.
We pray for all who exercise Christian hospitality.

Light of all who sit in darkness:
as we remember with thanksgiving Declan,
and those who spread your light
when this land was in the grip of paganism,
strengthen all who bear witness
to those who do not know Jesus Christ.
Grant this for his Name's sake.

August 9
Felim. Kilmore diocese. circa 560

Felim (spelt Fedilmith in Adomnán's life of Columba) was the father of Columba (Colmcille), according to tradition. The abbey on Trinity Island in Lough Oughter, not far from the diocesan cathedral, recalls the early days of Christianity in Cavan and the neighbourhood. A later Norman doorway from the island is now incorporated in the present cathedral. William Bedell, the much honoured 17th century bishop of Kilmore, is remembered for his saintly life and his work of translating the scriptures into the Irish language.

We pray for the diocese of Kilmore, the bishop, clergy and people of the parishes in the towns and farming areas.
We give thanks for all who have responsibility of translating and teaching the scriptures.
We remember the life and worship of the Irish Guild of the Church. S.

Gracious Father,
you call men and women from all stations in life to your service:
Give to all parents,
after the example of Prince Felim, father of Columba,
wisdom in the upbringing of their children
to the praise and glory of your holy Name,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

August 9
Crumnathy or Nathi c.610 Achonry Diocese

The monastery of at Achonry in Co. Sligo was founded by Finian of Clonard at some date in the sixth century and was established under Saint Nathi as a centre of prayer and study.

We pray for all places where study and prayer go hand in hand, for Summer Schools and Retreat Centres.
We pray for Saint Deniol's Library in North Wales and Saint George's College in Jerusalem which seek to serve the Anglican Communion in this way

God of all ages:
we pray that, encouraged by the example of Saint Crumnathy,
we may devote time and prayer to study the Holy Scriptures,
which may make us wise unto salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

August 12
Muredach, or Murtagh c. 480 Kilalla Diocese

Muredach was an "old man", perhaps a presbyter or priest, in Saint Patrick's household. At the conclusion of his mission to the West Patrick left his companion to be bishop in W. Sligo and Mayo. One tradition says that at the end of his life he went to live as a hermit on the island of Innishmurray.

We pray for companionship, for those who are lonely, and we give thanks for those who go to unfamiliar places in the service of Christ's mission.
We pray also for the faithfulmembers of the church in Co. Mayo and the north west of Co. Sligo especially as they welcome visitors at holiday time.

Powerful God,
whose power holds us and leads us in the service of Christ
and whose ear hearkens to our needs:
like Muredach of Patrick's household, may we find Christ
in the hearts of all that love us
and in the mouth of friend and stranger.
We ask this in Jesus' Name.

August 13
Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down and Connor and Dromore. Writer. 1667

Jeremy Taylor, the distinguished Anglican theologian, who wrote devotional and theological books in the difficult days of the Commonwealth in England, came to Ireland in 1658 and is gratefully remembered in Lisburn and Ballinderry. In 1660 he became Bishop of Down and Connor. Although the times were controversial, he maintained, as was said at the time much "largeness and freedom of spirit". His books Holy Living and Holy Dying are still in print. A study of his teaching on the Holy Communion by H.R.McAdoo (Archbishop of Dublin 1977-1985) has drawn attention to the importance of Taylor's teaching in the book, The Real Presence (1654).

We give thanks for the courage of bishop Jeremy Taylor, who was "valiant for truth."
We ask for God's blessing on inter-church dialogue continuing throughout the world in the search for Christian truth.
We remember in prayer the diocese of Dromore and the work of its cathedral where Jeremy Taylor was buried. S.

Almighty God,
your servant Jeremy Taylor found in this land
a grove of peace in time of conflict
and was called to be a bishop
to bring order at a time of reconstruction:
Grant that we who give thanks for his holy life and legacy
may be strengthened by your Spirit
in Holy Living and for Holy dying;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

August 14
Fachtna (or Fachanan) bishop. Ross diocese. 6th century.

Fachtna was described as being "a wise and upright man" and one with a great gift for preaching. He was the founder of the community of Rosscarbery in West Cork.

We pray for all who are to the ministry of preaching that they may be gifted by the Holy Spirit.

from of old you have given wisdom
to your prophets and preachers:
grant to all, who like Fachtna
are sent as heralds of the kingdom, wise words
and strength of character
that the world may believe you sent your Son to be Saviour of all:
even Jesus Christ our Lord.

August 16
Charles Inglis, bishop. 18th century.

Charles Inglis was the son of a rector of Glencolumbkille in County Donegal (diocese of Raphoe). After ordination, he served in New York at the down-town Trinity Church, and later had the distinction of being consecrated at Lambeth Palace as the first bishop of Nova Scotia and first bishop in the British Empire overseas (1787). He is remembered regularly in the Church at Glencolumbkille each August.

We give thanks for the pioneering work of Bishop Inglis, and also for many others who have gone out from the Church of Ireland to serve the Anglican Church of Canada.
We pray for the Church in French Canada, the Maritimes and the province of Canada, including especially Nova Scotia.
We remember the Irish in Canada belonging to all the churches. S.

Almighty God,
as we remember with thanksgiving Charles Inglis,
first bishop of the Anglican Church in Canada,
we thank you for the sons and daughters
of the rectories of the Church of Ireland
called to the ministry of your Church.
We pray that in whatever parts of the world
your ministers serve
they may lay firm foundations for faith, worship
and nurture in the things which belong to the Spirit;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

September 3
Oengus Mac Nisse of Dalriada. Connor diocese. 514

Oengus Mac Nisse (or Macanisius) the first bishop of Connor is thought to have been at Kells as a hermit earlier in his life. The story told of him may reveal his sense of dedication; instead of carrying his Gospel book in his satchel as was customary, he bore it on his shoulders "hunched up or on all fours!"

We pray for the diocese of Connor, and the parishes of County Antrim.
We ask for God's blessing on the schools and all places of education in the area.
We ask for God's continued blessing on the work of peace-making and reconciliation in the Corrymeela Fellowship. S.

for whom Oengus Mac Nissa gladly bore
the burden of leadership as bishop
among the hills of Antrim:
Keep those whom you call as leaders in Church and State
always mindful of their duty to Jesus Christ,
whose servants they are,
and to whom be glory in the Church to all generations, for ever and for ever.

September 9
Ciaran of Clonmacnois. circa 545

Clonmacnoise on the east bank of the river Shannon, where the ancient chariot-road through the centre of Ireland crossed the river, was an outstanding centre of prayer and study and monastic life. Many missionaries went out from here to the European Continent, including Virgilius (Fergal), Archbishop of Salzburg, and Alcuin's teacher, Colgu. Among the books written here were the Annals of Clonmacnoise, the Book of the Dun Cow, and the Annals of Tigernach (Tierney). Ciaran from Connaught was the founder. The stones, the cross of the Scriptures and the stone churches encircling "the great stone church", a thousand years old, make an impressive sight.

We give thanks for our Christian heritage of learning, missionary zeal, sculpture and the arts.
We ask for God's blessing on the annual open-air service of witness attended by many hundreds each July beside the river Shannon.
We pray for those who share in the worship of the Church of Ireland's Temple Conor, one of the ancient churches on this historic spot, remembering the Dean of Clonmacnoise, the bishop, and the parishes of the diocese of Meath. S.

High King of Heaven,
we give thanks for the ministry of Ciaran
and for the centre of learning and mission
he established at Clonmacnois:
Keep before your church such a vision of yourself
and a sense of your abiding presence
that we may worship you in spirit and in truth here on earth
and through Christ receive heaven's joy at the last;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

September 10
Finnian of Moville in the Ards. Down diocese. 579.

Finnian was educated at the abbey of Nendrum on Mahee island on Strangford Lough. After spending twenty years in Scotland as student and missionary he came to Movilla (5 miles from Bangor) to found his monastery. There is a tradition that the Psalter, called the Cathach ("the battle-book"), now in the Royal Irish Academy, was one of Finnian's books. Some scholars say that Finnian introduced to Ireland its first copy of Jerome's Vulgate version of the scriptures. Several Finnians are associated with the famous story of Columba's secret copying of the manuscript without permission; the king's judgment against Columba was supposed to have led to his exile in Iona.

We give thanks and pray for the missionary societies (C.M.S., U.S.P.G., the Dublin University Missions in India and China and Far East).
We pray also for religious education in all schools, especially all education that develops mutual understanding between the different Christian tradition in this island.
We remember the pioneering work of Lagan College and other schools with similar policies. S.

Heavenly Father,
your Son Jesus Christ prayed and taught the people
in the hills above the Sea of Galilee;
and you led Finnian to establish
on the hill above Strangford Lough
a place of prayer and learning:
Help us to draw closer to you in prayer
and by study of your word,
and thereby equip us for the service of the world;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

September 23
Eunan, Abbot. Raphoe diocese. 7th century

Eunan (or Adomnán) was born near Raphoe, in County Donegal, in 627. His Life of Columba gives us a vivid and warmly human account of the famous saint of Iona and the community life there. Adomnán also wrote about the Holy Land, hearing from Arculf, a visitor to Iona, about the sacred sites of the Gospel. Through his visits to Northumbria, Adomnán accepted the Roman way of dating Easter and abandoned the Celtic style of tonsure. He died in 704.

We give thanks and praise to God for the life and example of Eunan; for his constant efforts to promote "concord and peace"; for his rejection of violence.
We praise God also that through the writings of Eunan, the missionary and evangelistic work of St Columba became widely known.
We pray for the churches in Scotland.
We pray for the diocese of Derry and Raphoe, for the bishop, clergy and people in counties of Donegal, Tyrone, and Derry. S.

Lord God, your servant Eunan
recorded the grace you gave to his mentor, Columba.
We thank you for all who have handed on
the teaching of faithful men and women
to encourage us in following the example
of all that has been true and good in their lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

September 25
Fin Barre. Cork diocese. 623

From his hermitage at Gougane Barra in west Cork, he travelled down the river Lee to found his school and monastery among the "marshes" of what is now Cork city. In his lifetime he was honoured as a teacher and described as "this loving man, Barre of Cork".

We pray for the witness and worship of St Fin Barre's Cathedral, its dean and chapter, its choir and congregation.
We pray for the bishop of Cork and all the parishes of the diocese. S.

We give you thanks, Father God,
for the example of that loving man, Fin Barre of Cork,
and pray that as he served you as a teacher of the faith
so we may always follow his example
in faith, in hope and in love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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