This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

July 6 -- Feast of Saint Moninna

Naomh Morinna (Saint Morinna in Gaelic, if Google Translate can be trusted) is among those early Irish saints whose work can get overshadowed by the Big Three (Patrick, Brigid, Columba).  Consider the fact that Aer Lingus, which names its planes after Irish saints, has a Brigit, a Patrick, and a Columba, but has no Moninna.  It has more than 50 planes in the air, but could not christen one of them for the fifth century nun who made three pilgrimages to Rome and organized convents in Mercia and Scotland as well as in Ulster.  For a fifth century Irish girl, she was a floggin' globetrotter, but still, there's not a plane in the fleet with her name.

Of course, it can be tricky how one honors saints.  Her name appears on the crest of the Killeavy Gaelic Athletic Association, a club whose sports include Gaelic football (men's and ladies'), hurling, and camogie (ladies' hurling).  Since she founded her last convent in Killeavy, and she is buried there, it seems a fitting honor.  And yet...

Moninna had been founding a number of convents throughout the British Isles.  While she was living in Faughart, County Louth, she and some of the sisters were disturbed by the raucous noises some neighbors were making.  Upon investigation, they learned that the local families were enjoying a wedding celebration.  We all know that the only thing more raucous than an Irish wedding is an Irish funeral, right?   Well, Moninna was a little put out with the festivities. She and the sisters (some anyway) packed up and set out for the next place to establish an ascetic, contemplative community.  They settled in Killeavy.

There's no doubt she was a holy and accomplished woman who deserves to be honored.  On July 6, folks pray at her grave before making the march up to her well (rediscovered in 1880) and then returning to her grave for one more prayer.  When Aer Lingus finally commissions a plane with her name, that too will be appropriate for such a peripatetic saint.  But the thought of 15,000 drunken fans singing about spilling the blood of Ballymacnab or Carrickcruppen is tough to reconcile with a saint who moved moved because her neighbors celebrated a wedding.

1 comment:

  1. I am grateful to the kind reader who posted a word of encouragement, but I regret to say that my fat fingers conspired with this tricky little iPad to delete the comment when I tried to publish it.