Monday, 12 December 2016

Saint Aidan of Ferns (Walsh)

From Walsh's Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, 1891, c. xix, p. 171 ff:


SEE OF FERNS— ITS FOUNDER.

Saint Aidanus, commonly called Moedoc, or Moeg. His first name was Hugh. He was of an illustrious family of Connaught; was the son of Setna, of the Hy-Bruin sept (BrefFny) and Ethne, his mother being of the race of Aiilai in Tyrawley; they were a long time married without having issue. They frequently supplicated the Almighty to listen to their praj'ers and grant them a son. They were in the habit of visiting the monastery of Drum-leathan, and of giving abundant alms. At length their pious prayers were favorably listened to, and our Saint Maidoc was born on a small island, Inis-Breagh-Mugli, in the county of Cavan. (Tlie territory now known as Cavan was then a portion of Connaught called BrefFny Oreilly.)

The time of his birth was about the year 560, as appears from the fact that when a small boy he was delivered as one of the hostages whom the chiefs of the father's sept were compelled to give Anmiracus, king of Ireland, and whose reign began in 568 and ended in the year 571. "When he returned to his parents, they consigned him to the care of some holy men for his education, and he soon became a proficient in piety as well as in his studies. While yet young, his reputation for sanctity became so conspicuous that several pious persons were inclined to join him in his exercises of devotion and become his disciples. The Saint, too humble to accept of such a distinction, and to avoid any importunity arising from their desire, left his own country and repaired to Menevia, in "Wales, the establishment of St. David  here also, his sane tity became celebrated. About the year 589 he departed from St. David's, and having landed in the county of Wexford, he erected a church at Ardlathran, in the southern part of that county. He soon after erect ed another at Clonmore in the barony of Baiitry, and being much revered by Brandubh, king of Leinster, this prince assigned him, a site on which he built the celebrated Monastery of Ferns about the year 598. At the request of Brandubh, a synod was soon after convened, in which it was decreed that Ferns should be an episcopal see, and besides raised to the dignity of an archbishopric — not such as now canonically exists, but something in the shape of preeminence arising from the dignity and sanctity, and the character of the individual (such as St. Fiech, of Sletty). Hence we find various bishops called metropolitans of Connaught, of Lcinster, though it is certain neither province enjoyed the title until
the synod held at Kells in 1152, under Cardinal Paparo. The title was also one of courtesy, as it was often conferred through the favor of princes.

The memory of St. Maidoc or Aidan is highly revered in Wales, and several miracles have been attributed to him. He died on the 31st of January, 632.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

The Abbeys of New Ross (Walsh)


From Walsh's Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, 1891, c. lxv, p. 708 ff:

Ross-Mic-Trian, called Rossglassna Muimneach, a beautiful sea-port on the river Barrow, in the barony of Bantry; carries on an extensive trade, and is also a parliamentary borough. This town was formerly strongly fortified; in high repute, and adorned with many religious houses.

It obtained the name of "Kossglass na muimneach," from the great number of Munstermen who followed St. Evin thither, when he founded the monastery of Rossmictreoin. It is not to be confounded with another Rossglass, in a northern part of Leinstei, now called Monastereven.

St. Evin is said to have been the brother of St. Cormac, who was of the royal blood of Munster, of the Eugenian line. Having left his own country, he arrived in the neighborhood of the Barrow, and founded his monastery of Rossmictreoin. Evin was contemporary with St. Molua, of Clonfert-Molua, who visited him in this monastery, when its abbot, and there performed miracles. The name of St. Evin appears in several Irish calendars. His death is assigned to a 22d of December, prior to the year 602, as he died in the reign of Brandubh, king of Leinster.

Crouched friary was built on the summit of a hill, in the town.  One of the friars having killed a principal inhabitant, the whole body of the people arose, put the friars to death, and totally destroyed the abbey.

On its site was erected, by Sir John Devereux, the monastery of St. Saviour, for conventual Franciscans.

A.D. 1300, the founder granted to these friars a certain duty on all ships coming into the port of Ross.

A.D. 1283, Henry was prior.

A.D. 1310, about this time the town was walled, the friary included.

A.D. 1318, a provincial chapter of the order was held here on the feast of St. Bartholomew.

A.D. 1333, on March 6th, died Adam de Callen, guardian of Ross, who had filled that office for twenty-four years.

A.D. 1345, in a chapter held at Clane, in Kildare, this friary was assigned to the wardenship of Dublin.

A.D. 1406, the friars complaining to Henry IV. that the provost and burgesses levied taxes on the ships, merchants, &c., within the friar's bounds, contrary to the grant of the founder, the king confirmed the aforesaid grant on the 8th of December, James, earl of Ormond, being then lord lieutenant.

At the suppression, this house was granted to the earl of Ormond.

Inquisition taken on the 30th of June, thirty-first of Queen Elizabeth, finds that seven acres of land in Glean St. Saviour, annual value, besides reprises, 3s., were parcel of the possessions of this friary.

The east end of the building is now the parish church, of course the Protestant.

Augustinian friary, was founded, in the reign of Edward III., for eremites of St. Augustine. The name of the founder is lost in oblivion.

Robert Everard was prior.

John Gregory was the last prior. On the 20th of March, and in the thirty-first of king Henry VIII., he was seized of a church and belfry, hall, dormitory, and some other buildings, within the precincts, and a cemetery, the whole containing one acre, annual value, besides reprises 3s. 4:d. ; also of one tenement, one messuage, and five gardens in Ross, annual value, besides reprises, 13s. 2d. ; and twenty acres of arable land, thirty of pasture, and two of wood, in Polcapbuil, annual value, besides reprises, l0s. 2d.

In the thirty-fifth of Henry, this abbey, with its property, was granted for ever to Richard Butler at the annual rent of 17d. Irish.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Ferns Abbey (Walsh)

From Walsh's Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, 1891, c. lxv, p. 100 ff:


Ferns, an episcopal seat on the river Banne, about five miles north of Enniscorthy. St. Maidoc, or Aidanus, was the founder.

A.D. 601, King Brandubh was interred here.

A.D. 834, the Danes destroyed Ferns with fire.

A.D. 836, they repeated their barbarous conduct.

A.D. 838, another attack on Ferns by the Danes.

A.D. 868, died the Abbot Dermot.

A.D. 917, the Danes ravaged and plundered the abbey.

A.D. 944, died the Abbot Flathgus.

A.D. 975, the Abbot Conding died.

A.D. 1166, Diarmid Mac Murchad, king of Leinster, set fire to, and destroyed the town.

In atonement for this breach of humanity, this prince founded an abbey here, under the invocation of the Virgin Mary, for canons regular of St. Augustine, and endowed it with so much of the lands of Ballisisin and Ballilacussa, as would form the site of a village; Borin, Roshena and Kilbridy for two villages; and the lands of Ballisislan, in Fothert, near "Wexford, and those of Munemoth, in Ferneghenal; also a cell at Thamoling, being the chapel of St. Mary; the lands of Baligery with its fisheries, and his own chapelry; together with all the tithes and first fruits of the demesne of Perhukenselich, and a flagon of ale out of every brewing in Ferns; the cell of Finnachia, in Ferns
aforesaid, and the lands of Balliculum and Ballinafussin, with three acres adjoining the said cell. Witnesses: Christian, of Lismore, legate, Donat, bishop of Leighlin; Joseph, bishop of Ferns; Domnald, bishop of Ossory; Malachy, bishop of Kildare; Celestine, bishop, and Laurence, abbot of Glendaloch."

A.D. 1171, on the 1st of May, died impenitent, without sacraments or extreme unction, Dermot, the founder, and was interred here.

A.D. 1172, died the abbot Brighdean O'Cathan.

Dowyll was the last abbot. He surrendered in the thirty-first of Henry VIII. The possessions of this abbey in lands consisted of 590 acres, with the tithes and appurtenances thereof, all situate and lying
in this county.

November 20th, twenty-sixth of Queen Elizabeth, a lease of this abbey for the term of sixty years was granted to Thomas Masterson, at the annual rent of £16.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

The successors of Saint Aidan (1539-1850) (Walsh)

From Walsh's Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, 1891, c. xix, p. 179 ff:


Alexander Devereux, the last abbot of Dunbrody, remained in this see undisturbed during the different changes in religion, almost twenty-seven years. He shall be noticed elsewhere. He died in 1566.

Peter Power, bishop of Ferns; obliged to go into exile; became the suffragan of the archbishop of Compostella, in Spain, and there died in the year 1587.

Nicholas French, bishop of Ferns. Nicholas was born in the town of Wexford, A.D. 1604, and was one of the earliest pupils received in the Irish college at Louvain, and was at the same time one of its most distinguished. Here, too, he received holy orders. Soon after having returned to his native city, he was appointed its pastor, and in this capacity acquired a reputation for knowledge and eloquence. In 1643, Nicholas was consecrated bishop of his native djocese, and when promoted to this important charge, was in his thirty-ninth year of age, but lie was far advanced in the cultivation of his mind and genius. In 1645 he was elected to the parliament of Kilkenny, as a burgess of the town of Wexford, while, as bishop of Ferns, he sat in all the provincial councils and synods that were convened during the following years. Being then in the prime of vigor and intellect, full of ardent hope, he never shrunk from any proper labor, however toilsome. His zeal, disinterestedness and learning, in a short time after engaging on the public arena, procured him the leadership of the National Confederates,
who were the majority of that league.

Nicholas French was the sole lord of the assembly, and if others were distinguished in the field, none could vie with him at the council board. It is a mistake to suppose that the Nuncio Rinuccini was the
deliberative head of the assembly. His office, as nuncio, gave him precedence, but in reality he suggested no plans to the supreme council.

In January, 1646, the synod of the Irish clergy was held in Dublin. On the 10th of that month, Nicholas impeached the conduct of General Preston, who then shared the command of the Catholic forces with Owen Roe O'Neil, and moved his suspension from the command, but the motion was not put, and the meeting was broken up in confusion. The bishop of Ferns saw in Preston a traitor, whom the clamor of his friends had unfortunately rescued from disgrace.

As the councils of the Catholics were lamentably deficient in that unity of sentiment and of action, which alone are calculated to ensure success in national movements, the great genius of Nicholas French and the other patriots, who were animated with a love of country and of creed, could accomplish but little, while Preston and his interested associates were playing off their treachery against the real interests of the kingdom. In 1647, Nicholas French and Sir Nicholas Plunket were
despatched to the friendly courts of the Continent, in order to explain to them the designs, means, and the relative positions of the Catholics of Ireland, and the cause of the non-agreement existing between them and Charles. When again it was resolved to hold a synod at Jamestown, in August, 1648, Nicholas attended, not only as bishop of Ferns, but also as proxy to Archbishop Fleming, of Dublin, who was then ill. Again, when another effort was made to save the country, Nicholas French
puts to sea, in prosecution of his own plan, to treat with any Catholic prince, state, republic, or person, for the preservation of the Catholic religion and nation. The terms of the commission with which Bishop French was then entrusted, were kept secret; it bore the signatures of the leading confederates — lay and clerical — wlio were still in the country. A Catholic prince, the duke of Lorrain, was the person with whom this negotiation was carried on, at his court of Brussels. The
first act of his embassy was to interest the inter-nuncio Amoldi, then at Brussels, by whom Nicholas was well received, and through him reconciled to the court of Rome, which had been offended by tlie circular enforcing the peace of 1648.

The negotiation with the Catholic prince having failed, and the work of destruction going on as prosperously as its most ardent votaries could desire — the Catholics robbed, plundered, massacred, and all those whose blood the sword of Cromwell could not drink, driven to perish or linger in the wilds and morasses of Connaught : it would have been imprudent in Doctor French to return to the land for which he labored. As actior in the field or in the council was already ineffectually tried, Nicholas French betook himself to his cabinet in Brussels, there to digest the woes of his country and to startle the ears of Europe with her songs of sorrow. He now resumed his pen, more cutting than the two edged sword, to punish the traitors to his beloved Ireland, to refute the slanders of England, and to vindicate the cause of Catholic Ireland before the world.

A work, entitled "The unkind Deserter of Loyal Men and True Friends" was published at Brussels, in which he attributes the defeat of his last mission thither, to the duke of Ormond, and the ruin of Ireland by his proposing treaties to distract the councils of the confederates, and foment divisions amongst them, lest, in the event of their arms being successful, he would be obliged to disgorge his plunder and badly-acquired wealth. The effect which the publication of this work produced on the public mind, and particularly on the Duke of Ormond, and his admirers, may be inferred from the fact that the earl of Clarendon, then at Brussels with Charles II. and Ormond, undertook to publish a book in his own name, and to have it industriously circulated, with a view of preserving men's minds from being agitated by those infusions, and corrupted by misrepresentation; but Clarendon evaded the
charges which were directly made against the Duke of Ormond, by Nicholas French. He was still at Louvain, when the reply of Clarendon appeared. The bishop had already commenced a work on the same subject, the preface of which alone was printed, and also published at Louvain; it is called the "Bleeding Iphigenia."

Paris was the next destination of our bishop, and there he was appointed coadjutor to the archbishop of the French capital. Charles Stuart reached there soon after, on whom Nicholas waited, but was
refused admission to the presence of his majesty, for whose throne, as well as the altars of his own faith, he had labored so much, until the hopes of Ireland were blasted by that selfish traitor Ormond, who even on this occasion had intrigued against him, and through whose wiles - and those of the king, Nicholas French was obliged to abandon his see and remain an exile, uncharged with any offense and unconscious of any omission in the cause of his country or his creed. After many journeys and wanderings, he at last, says Peter Walsh, found a home with the archbishop of St. lago, in Gallicia, who received him in a manner wortliy of his fame. He was installed as his suffragan, and devoted the leisure of a year or two in composing a Latin work entitled "The Lucubrations of the Bishop of Ferns in Spain."

Nicholas French was still at Compostella when the news of the restoration had reached him. Amongst those who were pardoned and promoted, the venerable name of the prelate was not included, but his religion, stronger than any other bond, reconciled him to his fortune. Soon after, his repose was effectually disturbed by the proposition of Peter Walsh, regarding the "remonstrance," which was conveyed to him by Doctor Cusack, of London, who was equally the friend of both, and from which an interesting correspondence arose...

In his letter of June, 1662, to Cusack, Doctor French expressed himself ready to make any honorable terms with the viceroy, but goes no farther. In his second epistle to Walsh, from Santiago, dated Sep-
tember, 1665, Doctor French enclosed one to the viceroy, in which he proceeds to say: "A great fortune befits a great mind, and great clemency befits both," and quotes from Seneca, "That many punishments are as disgraceful to a statesman as many funerals to a physician." He hopes, that "with Caesar's power, Ormond possesses Caesar's generosity." "I do not say this to tickle or flatter your grace's ears, for this is not my custom, who have (as is well known) offended more by speaking
trutli than by flattering." He concludes by observing that he is afflicted with many bodily complaints, and intends drawing nearer to Ireland to wait his grace's reply.

A letter from Peter Walsh, on his part, and that of the Duke, dated March, 1666, informs the bishop, among other things, that he should write a more submissive letter, relative to the affaire of Jamestown, and other public transactions, and intimate a "total change of judgment in all these matters." And the false friar insolently adds: "And I must tell you, there is no command of God on you in the case, nor any necessity incumbent on you of preaching or teaching here personally to your flock;" and consoles tlie bishop with the assurance, that the duke of Ormond thinks him "a good man, a good priest, and a good bishop, without guile and without cheat."

The bishop rejoins from the seaport of San Sebastian, May the 10th, 1666. That he had moved hither from Santiago, "much to the grief of the archbisliop," confident in the result of his letter to Ormond. He refused to write a more submissive letter, and promised to write more fully from Paris. The letter he sent in a little Spanish vessel, in which he would have "ventured," were he not deterred by the humiliating proposal that had been made.

In his letter from Paris, according to promise, dated July, 1666, he bays to Peter Walsh: " Do me the favor and the right to show this letter to his grace." "It appearing to me that I cannot satisfy my conscience and the duke together, nor become profitable to my flock at home, nor live quietly and secure — his anger not being appeased — you may know hereby, that I am resolved after dog-days, to go to Louvain, and there end my days, where I began my studies."

Thus was terminated the correspondence of Nicholas French. In fulfillment of his word, he repaired to the cloister of St. Anthony, at Louvain...

While at Louvain, Bishop French filled some of the most important of the college offices ; he also established a bourse for his diocese of Ferns, which he endowed in perpetuity with the sura of one hundred and eighty florins per annum. Some time after, desiring to return to the sphere for which he had been consecrated, he was, either at the suggestion of a friend or the court of Rome, appointed coadjutor to the archbishop of Ghent, where he continued till his death, A.D. 1678, August the 23d.

Thus ended the career of an exiled Irish patriot, who had been ambassador to four different courts — who had ruled with episcopal power in four diiferent countries — who was the life and soul of the Catholic confederacy of his country, and one of the best among the Christian
bishops of his age...

Luke Wadding, bishop of Ferns, in 1687.

Michael Eossiter, bishop of Ferns, 1709.

Bishop Verdon succeeded.

Bishop Callaghan succeeded, 1729.

Nicholas Sweetman, bishop of Ferns, died 1780.

James Cauliield, bishop of Ferns, 1810.

Patrick Ryan succeeded, died in 1819.

James Keating, coadjutor to bishop Ryan, in 1818. Succeeded the 21st of March, 1819. Died universally regretted about the close of 1849 or beginning of 1850. In his death the diocese of Ferns sustained the loss of an excellent prelate — Ireland and her faith, a champion and patriot.

Milesius Murphy, who was parish priest of Wexford and vicar-general of the diocese, and who happily presides, was consecrated on the 10th of March, 1850.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Saint Aidan of Ferns (Brenan)

From An ecclesiastical history of Ireland: from the introduction of Christianity into that country, to the year 1829, by Michael John Brenan, Volume 1 (1840), from p. 149:


The See of Ferns was founded by St. Aidan or Maidoc about the year 600. Aidan was of an illustrious family in Connaught his Father Letna having been descended from Brian Prince of the Hy bruin sept in Breffny and his mother from the high and ancient race of Auli.(1.) When a youth Aidan was one of the hostages whom the people of Breffny had been obliged to give to Anmiracus King of Ireland and some time after his liberation he withdrew from his native country and retired to the establishment of St David at Menevia in Wales. Here his extraordinary sanctity soon rendered him celebrated. About the year 589 Aidan departed from Menevia and having landed in the now County of Wexford he erected a Church at a place called Ardlathran in the southern part of that county His next establishment was at Clonemore in the barony of Bantry and having been held in great reverence by Brandubh King of Leinster that Prince assigned him a site on which he erected his celebrated Monastery of Ferns about the year 600. At the request of Brandubh a numerous Synod was soon after convened in which it was decreed that Ferns should become an Episcopal See and be moreover raised to the dignity of Archbishopric of Leinster On this occasion Aidan was consecrated its first Bishop. (2.) Usher remarks that by this decree the Archiepiscopate of Leinster had been removed from Sletty but was afterwards transferred from Ferns to Kildare. (3.) It is at all events most certain that these so called Archbishops whether of Sletty or of Ferns were not strictly speaking Metropolitans nor were they invested with Archiepisoopal power or that jurisdiction provided by the Canon law. They enjoyed by courtesy and very often through the favour of princes a degree of honorary pre-eminence and for this reason we find the title passing in those days from one see to another. The reputation of St. Aidan was not confined to Ireland. His memory has been highly revered both in Wales and in other countries and several miracles have been attributed to him. He died on the 31st of January AD 632 and was buried at Ferns. (4.) St. Aidan was succeeded in the See of Ferns by St. Moling, a native of the territory of Hy Kinsellagh. Between the death of this Prelate and the incumbency of the learned Alban O Mulloy in the twelfth century the names of fifteen Bishops have been recorded while their acts like most of our other national documents have perished beneath the fury of the Danes or the still more unsparing rapacity of the English invaders.

(1.) AASS p. 216
(2.) Vita c. 28
(3.) Usher p. 965
(4.) Usher p. 966

Sunday, 24 January 2016

A Latin Mass in Annacurra

What has already been said of fair Annacurra can only be reiterated by those members and friends of St. Aidan's Catholic Heritage Association who had the grace to make a pilgrimage to the most northerly Parish of the Diocese of Ferns reaching northwards into County Wicklow, the Garden of Ireland.  We followed in the footsteps of St. Patrick, St. Brigid and St. Mogue.  St. Brigid, to whom the Parish Church is dedicated, also has two Holy Wells in her honour in the Parish.  Several monuments to the men of 1798 are to be found in the Parish, including the graves of brothers Philip and Patrick Leacy in the old graveyard at Preban, which some of the pilgrims visited.







Monday, 11 January 2016

Pilgrimage to St. Brigid's, Annacurra, Co. Wicklow

Your are cordially invited to join us for our first pilgrimage and Traditional Latin Mass of the new Year, the Year of Mercy, in St. Brigid's Parish Church, Annacurra, 3 km south of Aughrim, Co. Wicklow.  There is not, as Tom Moore's melody has it, in the wide world a valley so sweet as the vale of Avoca.  Set on the banks of the River Aughrim, a tributary of the Avoca River, Annacurra (or Annacurragh) possesses some of that sweetness in addition to charm of its own.  The lovely Church of St. Brigid celebrated its 150th year two years ago and this Saturday - Saturday, 23rd January, at 12 noon - it will host a Traditional Latin Mass for the first time in goodness knows how long.

Built to the design of Richard Pearse Jr., son of the noted Wexford Architect, the foundation stone for the Church was laid in 1859 and the opening ceremony took place on St. Patrick's Day, 1864.  The beautiful East Window depicting Saints Brigid, Patrick and Columba, was designed by Pugin and Ashlin, executed by McCann's of Middle Abbey Street, Dublin, and installed for the opening of the Church.  The bell was installed a year later and the organ in 1867.















Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The Wexford (or Enniscorthy) Carol


Musicologists differ on the precise origins of 'the Wexford Carol' or 'the Enniscorthy Carol,' and even upon its proper designation, it seems.  William D. Crump's The Christmas Encyclopedia, for example, fails to attribute it to the 12th Century, as many do, at least as regards the tune.  We are unable to source the basis of this claim of antiquity.  What is certain is that Dr. the Chevalier Grattan-Flood (1859-1928), Titular Organist of Enniscorthy Cathedral, claims to have transcribed the Carol, both tune and lyrics, from a local man and published them in The Oxford Book of Carols (1928) as 'the Wexford Carol.'  However, subsequent research has found that the first verses are very close to a Carol found in William Devereux’s A New Garland Containing Songs for Christmas (1728).

At any rate, 'the Wexford Carol' can be sung with a special joy by Irish, especially Wexford, voices this Christmastide.

The Wexford Carol

Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved Son.

With Mary holy we should pray,
To God with love this Christmas Day
In Bethlehem upon that morn,
There was a blessed Messiah born.

The night before that happy tide,
The noble Virgin and her guide
Were long time seeking up and down
To find a lodging in the town.

But mark right well what came to pass
From every door repelled, alas,
As was foretold, their refuge all
Was but a humble ox's stall.

Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep,
To whom God's angel did appear,
Which put the shepherds in great fear.

Arise and go, the angels said,
To Bethlehem, be not afraid
For there you'll find, this happy morn
A princely babe, sweet Jesus, born.

With thankful heart and joyful mind,
The shepherds went the babe to find
And as God's angel had foretold
They did our Saviour Christ behold.

Within a manger he was laid
And by his side a virgin maid,
Attending on the Lord of Life
Who came on earth to end all strife.

There were three wise men from afar,
Directed by a glorious star,
And on they wandered night and day
Until they came where Jesus lay.

And when they came unto that place
Where our beloved Messiah lay,
They humbly cast them at his feet
With gifts of gold and incense sweet.

An Irish Translation of the first four verses:

Ó, tagaig' uile is adhraigí
An leanbh cneasta sa chró 'na luí
Is cuimhnígí ar ghrá an Rí
A thug dár saoradh anocht an Naí.

'S a Mhuire Mháthair i bParrthas Dé,
Ar chlann bhocht Éabha guigh 'nois go caomh,
Is doras an chró ná dún go deo
Go n-adhram' feasta Mac Mhuire Ógh.

I mBeithil thoir i lár na hoích'
Ba chlos an deascéala d'aoirí,
Go follas don saol ón spéir go binn
Bhí aingle 'canadh ó rinn go rinn.

"Gluaisig' go beo," dúirt Aingeal Dé,
"Go Beithil sall is gheobhaidh sibh
É 'Na luí go séimh i mainséar féir,
Siúd É an Meisias a ghráigh an saol."

Friday, 4 December 2015

Dunbrody Abbey (Walsh)

From Walsh's Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, 1891, c. xix, p. 173 ff:


Dunbrody, in the barony of Shelburne, on the river Barrow, and four miles south of Ross. Harvey de Monte Maurisco, who was seneschal of the whole estate belonging to Eichard, earl of Pembroke, made a considerable grant of divers lands to St. Mary and St. Benedict, for the purpose of erecting an abbey for the monks of the Cistercian order.

Felix, who was consecrated bishop of Ossory, in 1178, was witness to this charter.

A.D. 1179, Harvey, the founder of this house, entered into the monastery of the Holy Trinity, in Canterbury. Richard, earl of Pembroke, and his grandson, Walter, were principal benefactors to
this house.

A.D, 1182, the abbot and monks of Bildewas, m Shropshire, who were included in the charter of Harvey, made a cession to the Cistercian abbey of the blessed Virgin Mary, at Dublin, of the whole right and claim, which they possessed in right of de Marisco's grant, over the new foundation of Dunbrody. John, lord of Ireland, in the lifetime of his father, confirmed the grant of Harvey.

A.D. 1216, Herlewin, bishop of Leighlin, was interred in the abbey church, a great part of which he had caused to be erected.

A.D. 1296, Walter, earl of Pembroke, confirmed the grants of Harvey and of Strongbow.

A.D. 1308, Damin was abbot.

A.D. 1340, Philip de Chicull was abbot. Having refused to submit to the visitation of the abbot of St. Mary's, near Dublin, he was deposed from his office. The prior, William de Rosse, was chosen in his
place.

A.D. 1368, David de Cornwalshe was abbot. The monks of Tracton, in the county of Cork, having openly resisted the authority of their abbot, David was commissioned to restore them to order. David, for his trouble in so doing, was presented by the abbot, David Graynell, with a horse, worth twenty marcs, and £10 sterling in ready money; after which David took from the monks another sum of £20, and being thus bribed by both parties, he deprived the abbot Richard of his office. In two years afterwards he was convicted of the same offence, and fined in the sum of one marc, but received the king's pardon.

A.D. 1380, it was enacted by parliament that no mere Irishman should make his profession in this abbey.

A.D. 1390, David Esmonde, a burgess of the town of Wexford, being appointed by letters patent to enquire, by the oaths of good and lawful men of this county, into the extortions and offences committed in this abbey, from which mere Irishmen were excluded, having arrived to put in force his commission, David Cornwalshe, the abbot thereof, with divers associates, assaulted said Esmond, with force and violence seized and destroyed the king's letters, and secured Esmond in the abbot's prison for the space of sixteen days, until they compelled him to swear that he would never prosecute any of the aforesaid persons, nor John Develyn, who was a party to the transactions.

A.D. 1394, the said Develyn was abbot.

A.D. 1402, King Henry IV granted to the abbot and convent a confirmation of all their rights and possessions.

A.D. 1418, John Calf was abbot.

A.D. 1522, Alexander Devereux was abbot. The abbot of this house sat as a baron of parliament.

Alexander Devereux, the last abbot, surrendered this noble establishment in 1539, after having first provided for his relatives bv the sacrilegious plunder of its possessions.

By an inquisition, taken in the thirty-seventh of Henry VIII, this abbey was found to possess sixty acres of pasture in Dunbrody; one hundred and twenty acres in Battlestown; eighty acres in Duncannon ; sixty acres in Clonard, and one thousand one hundred and thirty acres in various parts of the county of Wexford, besides immense possessions in Connaught, and in the counties of Limerick and Waterford. In 1546, these possessions were granted to Osborne Itchingham, at the annual rent of £3 l0s. 6d. While in the twentieth year of Queen Elizabeth, the lands and rectories belonging to this abbey, in the county of Limerick, were conceded to Robert Callan.


The ruins of Dunbrody abbey, rising in awful grandeur at the conflux of the rivers Suire and Barrow, present a truly picturesque and magnificent appearance. These ruins, including the cloister and church, are, perhaps, the most complete, and at the same time the most extensive of any in the kingdom. At the west end stood the porch, adorned with filigree open-work, cut in stone, while the immense gothic window which rises above the porch, displays an amazing specimen of curious
and splendid architecture. The chancel and the walls of the church are entire. Within are three chapels, vaulted and groined, while the aisles are separated from the nave by a double row of arches, with a moulding, which reclines on beautiful consoles. Tlie tower also is complete, and the arch on which it rests is, for its curious and expansive curvature, much esteemed.

Monday, 23 November 2015

The successors of Saint Aidan (1222-1539) (Walsh)

From Walsh's Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, 1891, c. xix, p. 177 ff:



John de St. John, treasurer of the cathedral of Limerick and of Ireland, succeeded in 1223. He erected or endowed a deanery in his church, and made the priory of Enniscorthy, with the consent of the
patron, a cell to the abbey of St. Thomas, near Dublin. He is also classed among the principal benefactors to his church, on account of the buildings he erected, and of the privileges which he procured for his see. In September, 1240, he convened a diocesan synod at "Wexford, in the abbey of Saints Peter and Paul, at Selsker. This prelate granted to the abbey of Douske or the vale of St. Saviour, all the land of Killacy, reserving a yearly rent of ten shillings payable to him and to his suc-
cessors. Having governed his see about twenty-one years, with great credit and integrity, he died in the year 1243.

Geoffrey St. John, the brother of his predecessor and official of Ferns, succeeded him in the year 1243; he had also been treasurer of the cathedral of Limerick, and escheator of Ireland before his promotion to the see. Before his death he petitioned Pope Alexander IV against Fulk, archbishop of Dublin, for burdening him with too great a retinue in his visitations, which was not warranted by the canons of the Lateran council, and through which he was obliged to incur larger expenses than the income of his diocese would permit; the Pope granted him a a license not to receive the archbishop with greater numbers in his trail, than the canons allowed.

Hugh de Lampert, treasurer of Ferns, was elected in 1258, and was consecrated the same year. He is reckoned among the benefactors to the abbey of St. Alban's, in England. He died on the 23d of May,
1282.

Eichard de Northampton, canon of the cathedral of Eallaloe, succeeded in 1282, and was consecrated the following year. He died in the year 1303, and in the twenty-first of his consecration, and was
buried at Ferns, in the cathedral of St. Aidan.

Simon de Evesham, succeeded in 1304, and consecrated in June; died in the following September.

Robert Walrand, succeeded in 1305. Governed the see about six years, and died at Ferns, on tlie 17th of November, 1311.

Adam de Northampton, succeeded in 1312, and was consecrated bishop of Ferns on Trinity Sunday. He appropriated the church of Maglass to the deanery of his cathedral on the 29th of October, 1346.
While Adam sat, Ferns and its castle were plundered, and set on fire by the Irish, who are called by English writers rebels. He adhered to Edward Bruce, on his arrival in those parts, and to Robert his brother, for which he was called to account for his treason in furnishing provisions, men and arms, to the invaders.

Hugh de Saltu, so called from the place of his birth, at Leixlip, near the Salmon-leap, on the Liffey, prebendary of St. Patrick's, Dublin, was consecrated in tliat city on Passion Sunday, 1347; he was
deprived before the end of the year by the Pope, who alleged that he had reserved to himself the provision to the see of Ferns.

Geoffrey Grosseld, doctor of divinity, and an Augustin hermit, succeeded by provision of Pope Clement VI., and was consecrated at Avignon, 1347, and died in the following year, October the 22d, of the plague, which was very fatal both in England and Ireland.

John Esmond, was consecrated about the end of 1349, and was soon after deprived by the Pope. John determined to hold the bishopric by force, or hinder his successor from the possession of it. In his resistance he was supported by William Furlong, and twenty-six others, who prevented the sheriff from enforcing the writ, commanding him to remove all force from the church and diocese of Ferns. Soon after, John Esmond was arrested, and obliged to give bail for keeping the peace, and to abide the judgment of the king's bench, on an indictment preferred against him.

William Chamells, a monk, was provided to the see by the Pope, in 1350, and obtained the temporals. When the castle of Ferns was taken by the Irish rebels, he, in person, headed a party of his servants and dependents, and putting the assailants to flight, recovered his castle. He sat about twelve years, and was a short time treasurer of Ireland. He died in July, 1362.

TSiomas Den, archdeacon of Ferns, was consecrated on Trinity Sunday, 1363, and sat upwards of thirty-seven years. He died in a very advanced age, in August, 1400.

Patrick Barrett, an Augustin canon of Kells in Ossory, succeeded, A.D. 1400. He was, by command of the Pope, consecrated at Rome. He was for a time chancellor of Ireland, and exercised that ofiice with great ability. He appropriated the church of Ardcolen to the abbey of Saints Peter and Paul, at Selsker, near Wexford. Patrick died in November, 1415, and was buried in the abbey of Kells.

Robert Whittey, chanter of Ferns, was promoted to the see by Pope Martin V., in 1416. He appropriated the church of Ardkevin to the abbey at Selsker, and died in 1458. He was bedridden almost ten years before his death. He had, according to Wadding, a Franciscan friar, Thady, as his coadjutor, in 1451.

John Pursell, who succeeded in 1459, governed the see about twenty years. Died in 1479.

Lawrence Nevil, canon of Ferns, was advanced to the see by provision of Pope Sixtus IV., and obtained the temporals on the 20th of May, 1480. He sat twenty-three years, and died in 1503.

Edmond Comerford, dean of Kilkenny, was consecrated in St. Canice's church, in the year 1505. Having presided four years, he died on Easter Sunday, 1509.

Nicholas Comyn was consecrated bishop of Ferns, in St. Paul's church, London, in January, 1509. He must have been coadjutor to Edmond Comerford, or Edmund must have resigned. Bishop Nicholas
was translated to the sees of Waterford and Lismore in 1519.

John Pursell, succeeded to the see of Ferns, in 1519. He was consecrated at Rome on the 6th of May, of this year. He was committed a prisoner to the custody of the marshal of the exchequer, on the 1st
of September, 1531; the reason is unknown. He died on the 20th of July, 1539.

Friday, 23 October 2015

The Religious Houses of Wexford Town (Walsh)

From Walsh's Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, 1891, c. lxv, p. 712 ff:


Wexford, the capital of the county, and a sea-port, market-town, and parliamentary borough, in the barony of Shelmaliere.

Priory of canons regular, under the invocation of SS. Peter and Paul, was founded, according to the most approved opinion, by the Danes, in the early part of the twelfth century, to which the Roches, a noble and an influential family, were munificent benefactors.

A.D. 1240, John, bishop of Ferns, held a synod here on the morrow of the nativity of the blessed Virgin.

A.D. 1418, Sir John Talbot, Lord Talbot of Fumeval and Wexford, granted to this priory the chapel of St. Nicholas of Carrick.

The prior of this abbey sat in parliament as a baron.

The first inquisition, taken in the thirty-first of Henry VIII., found in the possession of the last prior, John Heygarne, four orchards, two parks, fifteen messuages, with their gardens, and the rectories of St. Patrick, SS. Peter and Paul, and St. Tullogh, in the town of Wexford; two hundred and sixty acres of land and eighteen capons, together with the rectories of Killmacree, St. Margaret, Ballynane, Slaney, Killuske, and various others in the county of Wexford. In the first year of Edward VI., this priory and the greater part of its possessions were granted to John Parker, at the annual rent of 16s.

Tlie church of SS. Peter and Paul, or Selskir Abbey, yet remains, with a very large tower in the centre.

Knights Hospitallers. This priorj', founded by William Mareschal, Earl of Pembroke, and dedicated to St. John and St. Brigid, was, antecedent to the period in which the order of Templars was abolished,
the grand commandery. But Kilmainham being granted to tlie Hospitallers, it immediately became the grand establishment of that order.

A.D. 1376. The prior recovered against A-dam, the son of John de Bocher, sixty acres of land with the appurtenances thereunto belonging, and situate in Ballycollock, in this county. There still remains part of the old church of St. John, without the walls.

Gray Friars. The conventual Franciscans procured a settlement for themselves in this town, in the reign of King Henry III., and were reformed A.D. 1486.

Thirty-first of Henry VIII, the prior of this house was seized of a church and belfry, chapter-house, dormitory, hall, kitchen and some other buildings, with eight burgages in the town of Wexford, annual value, besides reprises, 17s.

February 20th, thirty-fifth of Henry, this monastery, with the aforesaid burgages in Wexford, were granted for ever to Paul Turner and James Devereux, at the annual rent of lOd. Irish money.

Leper Hospital. Henry IV., on the 26th of January, and tenth year of his reign, granted to the son of William Rochford, during life, the custody of the hospital for lepers, under the invocation of the brethren and sisters of St. Mary Magdalen, near Wexford, with the lands, rents, possessions, churches, tithes thereunto belonging; the said John to support the houses, buildings, &c., and to defray all other expenses at his own proper cost and charge.

A.D. 1649. Wexford was besieged by Oliver Cromwell. As soon as the regicide had ordered his batteries to play on a distant part of the town, on his summons being rejected, "the commander of the garrison, Staff'ord," admitted his men into the castle, whence issuing suddenly and attacking the wall and gate adjoining, (they were admitted, either through the treachery of the townsmen or the cowardice of the soldiers, or perhaps both,) the slaughter was almost as great as at Drogheda.
By Cromwell himself, the number of the slain is reduced to two; by some writers it has been swelled to five thousand.  "No distinction was made between the defenceless inhabitant and the armed soldiers, nor could the shrieks and prayers of 300 females, who had gathered round the great cross, preserve them from the swords of those ruthless barbarians."

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Latin Mass Pilgrimage to Wicklow Town

St. Patrick's Church, is set strikingly on a hill overlooking the scenic and historic coastal town of Wicklow.  Although the area has been populated for thousands of years, the town itself was settled by the vikings about the year 800.  To that extent, it is older even than Dublin City.  The Irish name Cill Mhantáin, or Church of the toothless, is replaced by the Norse Vikló, or harbour of the meadow.
 
The town would have found itself in the Gaelic Diocese of Glendalough, which extended across the whole of what is now the Archdiocese of Dublin.  Viking Dublin did not have a Bishop until Donatus was consecrated in 1038.  At the Synod of Rathbreasail in 1118, Dublin is not mentioned.  At the Synod of Kells in 1152, the Diocese of Glendalough was divided, giving the northern portion of its territory to Dublin, which also received a Metropolitan pallium.  Gregory became the first Archbishop of Dublin and was succeeded by St. Laurence O'Toole.  In 1185, King John decreed the union of Glendalough to Dublin but it wasn't sanctioned by the Pope until 1216.
 
In the valley between the Catholic Church and Anglican church and at the medieval town gate lie the ruins of a Franciscan Abbey, built about the year 1265.  Only elements of the south transept and nave are visible today.
 
As already noted in the post on the pilgrimage to Bray, the facade of the Church is remarkably similar to that of the original facade of the Church of the Holy Redeemer, Bray, and to other Churches by W.H. Byrne.  It was completed about 1840 to an unknown architect's design, where there is a gap in Byrne's list of works.  Therefore, it may cautiously be attributed to him. 
 
Members and friends of St. Laurence's Catholic Heritage Association made a pilgrimage there on Saturday, 22nd August, including a Mass celebrated by a Priest of the Diocese.
 

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

The Successors of St. Aidan (-1222) (Walsh)

From Walsh's Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, 1891, c. lxv, p. 703 ff:


Dachua or Mochua Luachra, a native of Munster, abbot, and bishop of Ferns, was the immediate successor of St. Maidoc [St. Aidan]. In the life of St. Maidoc it is stated, that being about to cross a certain ford, he said to his charioteer, that the person who would open for them the entrance to it, would sit in his see after himself. A number of students who were there amusing themselves near the ford, and among whom was Mochua, who ran and opened the passage to the ford, as soon as the
saint came up. He then said with great humility to the saint: "holy man of God, I wish to go witli you and live under your discipline."

The saint asking him whence he was, and what his name, he replied, I am from Munster, and of the people who inhabit Luachra, and my name is Cronan. The saint then said, "henceforth you shall be called Mochua Luachra; come, then, and follow me." Accordingly Mochua went with the saint, and remained with him until his death. His progress in piety and learning was so great, that St. Maidoc appointed him as his successor in the see of Ferns. Mochua died in the year 652.  His festival is observed on the 22d of June.

Tuenoc succeeded as abbot and bishop of Ferns, and died in 662.

Maldogar, bishop of Ferns, died in 677.

Dirath succeeded, and died about 691.

Saint Molingus or Dairchill, was a native of Hy-Kinsellagh, and his descent has been traced to the royal house of Leinster. Having embraced a monastic life, he founded a monastery, called after him Teagh-Moling, near the Barrow, in the county of Carlow. He governed the monastery several years, and occasionally sojourned at Glendaloch, until 691, when he was consecrated bishop of Ferns He was styled archbishop in virtue of the precedence which King Brandubh conferred on the see of Ferns. He succeeded in inducing Finacta, monarch of Ireland, to remit the tribute of oxen, which had so heavily pressed on the province of Leinster for a considerable time. It is also stated that he foretold some things relative to the affairs of Ireland. He died on the 17th of June, 697, and has been considered as one of the principal saints of Leinster. He is called one of the four prophets of Ireland.

Killen, his successor in the see, died A.D. 714.

Arectacius Mac Cuanach, bishop of Ferns, died in 737. A void occurs in the records of the succeeding bishops and abbots for nearly a century, as the Danes cnielly oppressed Ferns.

Laidgene, comorban of Ferns, died A.D. 973.

Dermod O'Rudican, bishop of Ferns, died in 1048.

Cairbric O'Kerny, called bishop of Ferns and comorban of St. Maidoc, died in 1095.

Kellach O'Colman, bishop of Ferns, died in 1117.

Carthag O'Malgabry.

Melisa O'Cathan.

Ilory O'Trassy. When these three prelates sat is not known.

Bridgiu O'Cathlan, called successor of Maidoc, died in 1172. He must have resigned long before his death. The names of abbots and bishops are sometimes synonymous in the annals of Ireland. There is,
however, an uncertainty, unless the appellation of bishop be appended. The names of the abbots of Ferns will be given when treating of the abbey.

Joseph O'llethe governed the see of Ferns about thirty years. He is called bishop of "Wexford in the foimdation charter of the abbey of Dungiven. It is related of him that he was employed in a stratagem
to obtain a surrender of the castle of Carrig, in 1171, or the year following, by manifest perjury, but the charge was incorrect. He died in 1185, and was buried, it is said, in Wexford.

Albinus O'Mulloy, succeeded in 1186, and was sometimes, as his predecessor, styled bishop of Wexford. Perhaps there was some resolve at the time to change the see to that city. Albinus was abbot of Baltinglass. After the death of St. Lawrence, the see of Dublin was conferred on an Englishman, John Cumin, because Henry of England was at the time intent on transferring the dominion of the kingdom of Ireland to his son John; and as if to prepare the way for his reception,
none but an English ecclesiastic should be appointed to preside over the important see of Dublin. The person who was recommended was this John Cumin, a learned and eloquent ecclesiastic, and who had filled, for several years, some situation in the royal palace. Four years had elapsed from the period of the death of his sainted predecessor, until John had arrived in Dublin. In the meantime the coffers of Henry II must have been replenished by the spoils of the see, as he had immediately, on the decease of Lawrence, seized on and collected the episcopal revenues.

John Cumin, the first Englishman who ever sat in an Irish see, and representing that class of Britons who were so zealous of reform in the Irish church, resolved to signalize his episcopacy by some memorable act of pastoral care and solicitude. A provincial synod afforded him such a facility, and it was accordingly held about the middle of Lent, 1185, in the cathedral of Christ church. The decrees of which were of a disciplinary character, and most of them had been already sanctioned by long usage or ratified by positive enactments in former synods, of the Irish prelates. On the first day of meeting the archbishop himself preached on the sacraments, as is usually the case to open the business by a sermon. On the second day, Albinus O'Mulloy, then abbot of Baltinglass, delivered a powerful and impressive discourse on the subject of clerical continence; in the course of his observations the learned preacher dwelt on the unsullied character of the Irish priesthood, and in terms of grief and indignation inveighed most bitterly against the English and Welsh clergy who had
come over to Ireland: upbraided them with having polluted the altars of his country by their filthy and abominable crimes, and in tears of anguish assured them, that crying scandals of this sort were unheard in the Irish church, until aliens and adventurers had been authorized to come amongst them. Albinus, by his just censures, produced the desired efifect. Scarcely had he descended from his pulpit, when those English ecclesiastics began to recriminate and accuse each other, each one asserting more criminality in the other, and thus publicly exposing themselves to the contempt and scom of the Irish clergy. Numbers of them were convicted, and suspended by the archbishop, from ecclesiastical functions, and from the enjoyment of their benefices. Good and gracious God! why allow this profanation of a sanctuary so pure and unsullied?

Though impiety may, in its momentary career, tarnish the beauty of religion, it is not to he screened from public censure. Hence it is, that the inspired penmen in recording the crime, in bold relief, place before the reader the punishment thereof, in order to guard us against its dangerous and pernicious influence, — if then the scribes and pharisees sit in the chair of Moses, we are exhorted by the Redeemer himself not to imitate their vicious example.

God himself obeys with equal pi-omptitude, the voice of the bad as of the good priest, because the power is the same — the burden and the dignity similar. If some among the dispensers of God's mysteries have been dissolute, their excesses are more than recompensed by the virtues and merits of others who lead an exemplary life. In that special predilection which the Saviour of the world has shown for the virtue of continence — in its practice by the apostles from the period of their vocation,
the Church, moreover, guided by the experience of centuries, and too well aware of its utility, enforces this holy and salutary discipline, when her ministers voluntarily embrace it, — it is a virtue which throws a halo of glory, a charm of admiration around the faithful servant of the altar, ennobles his very movements in the sanctuary, sanctifies and renders more pleasing in the sight of God the oblation of the immaculate lamb — that angelic virtue which adorns and burnishes those functions
entrusted to the priesthood. Hence it is the right of religion and of those to whom its services are administered, that the sacrifice of religion be oifered with hands pure and clean : as the ambassadors of heaven on this earth, which we tread, they are as much as possible to represent those in the immediate employ of their heavenly Father, — it is that \irtue which endeared the virgin apostle to his incarnate master, and to whose virginal care was commended the virgin mother of a virgin God.

In past ages the most venerable in the church, because so exalted above human ideas, and so worthy of a divine origin, as it constitutes the true champion of the cross, the true soldier of Christ, to carry his standard amidst the conflicts of life, and by his victories over flesh and blood, extend tlie dominion of his heavenly employer; that virtue which gives to the minister of the altar that true and real liberty whereby he is emancipated, as if from worldly pursuits — disenthralls his affections from the transitory objects of life — renders him the father of the orphan, the protector of the oppressed, and the comforter of the poor and the indigent — renders him really useful to his people, and devoted to their wants and necessities — master of himself, of his time, of his talents, of those resources which a grateful flock are ever disposed to place in the hands of that pastor, whose desires are centered in their welfare, and whose actions evince zeal in the faithful discharge of his arduous but sweet labors ; armed with this staff, and his brow adorned with the garland of virginity, he becomes firm and inflexible, when vice is to be reproved and extirpated— calm and stem, when virtue is to be inculcated and enforced. Thus shall he be free, in this vale of tears, of reproacli, — full of hope in future reward, when about to enter on that "bourne," whence the traveller does not return.

On the 3d day of the synod, Gerald Barry, by order of the archbishop of Dublin, preached, or rather delivered a tirade against the Irish clergy and the whole nation. It seems that the facts which Albinus O'MuUoy laid at the doors of tlie English priests, were incontrovertible. In his demeaning display, Gerald exhibited his malignity, as well as his ignorance of the ecclesiastical antiquities, manners, and
customs of the Irish people. "With all his prejudices, the force of truth elicited the acknowledgment that the "clergy of Ireland were very commendable for religion ; among other virtues, which distinguish them, they excelled and were preeminent in the prerogative of continence, and likewise, said he, they attend regularly and vigilantly to the psalms and hours, to reading and prayer, and remaining within the precincts of their churches, do not absent themselves from the divine offices,
to the celebration of which they have been appointed. They also," continued Gerald, "pay great attention to abstinence and sparingness of food, so that the greatest part of them fast almost every day until dusk, and until they have completed all the canonical offices."

Tlie chastisement which St. Lawrence O'Toole had been obliged to inflict on the English clergy for their incontinence and scandalous deportment with no unsparing hand, was not calculated to check the evil; they still poured into Ireland, and eacli party, as they landed, seemed to vie and outrival the preceding one in open profligacy and debauchery. If such scandalous demeanor pervaded generally the clergy of England in the beginning of the sixteenth century, we can easily account for the
universal defection from the faith that took place, and for the little resistance to the schismatical proceedings of Henry VIII.

Tlie unsuccessful debut of Gerald Barry on this important occasion contributed to check the haughty and domineering temper of this sacerdotal reviler of a nation. Though anxious to decorate his brow with a mitre, he refused the vacant see of Ferns, which his patron, Prince John had offered, and soon after returned to his own country — mortified by the disgraceful conduct of his countrymen, and the public exposure of their crimes.

A strong hand being necessary to extirpate such an evil; and as several of the English ecclesiastics became located in the diocese of Ferns, it was the anxious wish of the native clergy and of Archbishop Cumin, to select an Irishman of zeal and firmness to preside over it. Albinus liaving already exhibited proof of his ability in grappling with such a difficulty, was chosen, and having been accordingly consecrated, commenced that salutary reform, by which the English priests were taught the practice of Irish discipline and Irish morality.

Having had to institute proceedings against William, earl of Pembroke and earl marshal of England, who seized on certain manors, which belonged to the see of Ferns from time immemorial, and which
were set apart for the maintenance of the poor, and who added them to his already extensive estates. Against such an usurpation of the property the bishop remonstrated; his suit was a failure, as no tribunal could be either able or willing to decide impartially. The earl, however, soon after regretted his misconduct, and strove to repair it by his patronage of charitable foundations. Albin, having governed the see thirty-six years, died A.D. 1222.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Traditional Latin Mass in Bray, County Wicklow

This is the first occasion on which our Association has made a pilgrimage to Wicklow, the Garden of Ireland. On 4th July, we made a pilgrimage to Bray for a Traditional Latin Mass in the Church of the Holy Redeemer on the Main Street. Building upon the existing Chapel of c. 1824, our old friend Patrick Byrne enlarged the Church and added a tower and facade strikingly similar to St. Patrick's, Wicklow Town (c. 1844) and to Byrne's St. John's, Blackrock (c. 1845).  W.H. Byrne further enlarged the Chapel into the present envelope, a Romanesque Church with colonnaded transepts and an apsidal Sanctuary c. 1894-1898, for Most Reverend Nicholas Donnelly, D.D., P.P., V.G., then Parish Priest of Bray and Greystones, Bishop of Canae and Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin.  Presumably at the same time as the modernist facade was added (1965) the sanctuary was re-ordered and the organ erected in the apse.