Sunday, 23 March 2014

St Macartan's Day is celebrated on March 24th.

maca

St. MaCartan, bishop. Clogher diocese. circa 505
(Macartan, MacCartan, Maccarthen)
March 24

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 .

Died c. 505; feast day formerly March 24. Saint Macartin (in Irish - Aedh mac Carthin) was an early disciple and companion of Saint Patrick during the latter's missions into pagan territory. He is said to have been consecrated bishop of Clogher in Tyrone by Patrick in 454. It is said the Saint Brigid, Macartin's niece, was present at the founding of the see. Tradition names Macartan as the "strong man" of Saint Patrick, who established the church in Clogher and spread the Gospel in Tyrone and Fermanagh.

Macartin is also one of the earliest Irish saints to be known as a miracle-worker. His holiness is revealed not so much by any "vita," which are non-existent, but by the high veneration in which he is held. Saint Bede records that the earth was taken from his grave as holy relics. His Office is the only one to survive from an Irish source.

A reliquary, called the Great Shrine of Saint Mac Cairthinn, which was designed to contain relics of the True Cross as well as his bones, has been altered over the centuries but still survives as the "Domnach Airgid" in the National Museum. It's inner yew box was given to Macartin by Patrick together with the latter's episcopal staff and Bible.

The Cloch-Oir (Golden Stone), from which this ancient diocese takes its name, was a sacred ceremonial stone to the druids, It was given to Macartin by an old pagan noble, who had harassed Macartin in every possible way until the saint's patient love won the local ruler to the faith. The stone is still preserved and the noble's son, Tighernach of Clones, succeeded Macartin as bishop (Benedictines, D'Arcy, Farmer, Healy, Kenney, Montague, Muirhead, Needham).

Link