Saint Toghert

This is the Patron Saint of the Parish which is known as Kiltoghert, or, the Church of Toghert. Toghert was a Virgin whose feastday is or was celebrated on the 11th June. Little is known of her life apart from fleeting references to her as Virgin of Conmaicne. She is so mentioned in the Martyrology of Donegal and the Martyrology of Tallagh. Conmaicne was the title given to the Diocese of Ardagh in the Middle Ages. The Conmaicne were a people who had come from Dunmore in County Galway and spread into the diocese probably as late as the sixth century. They came across the Shannon first of all around the Leitrim/Drumboylan area and gradually extended to Fenagh and later to all of Longford.

Saint Toghert was prayed to and invoked by women in labour, and was much honoured in Ireland over the years.

Saint Ciaran

Ciaran was probably born in Roscommon, the son of a Chariot builder from Antrim who was married to a Kerry woman. He studied at Clonard under the great scholar Finian and was, by Finian deemed a fit successor as head of Clonard. He declined the position and instead spent some time studying under Enda of Aran before setting out to establish his own monastery. He founded at least one earlier Church at Hair Island in Lough Ree, North of Athlone before moving down the Shannon to the site of what was to become Ireland’s foremost monastic city. While Ciaran remained only a short few months in Clonmacnois before his death at the age of thirty-three, he built his monastery on solid foundation of scholarship and learning. Ciaran is principal Patron of the Diocese of Clonmacnois, which surrounds his famous foundation. With the uniting of the diocese with the diocese of Ardagh, Ciaran became one of the two Patrons of the combined Diocese.

Saint Mel.

Mel is the principal patron of the ancient diocese of Ardagh. He was a companion of Patrick, and some would say a nephew of the national Apostle. He was ordained by Patrick as Bishop of the Church in Ardagh which Patrick established when he had converted the local chieftan. Mel was made bishop probably as early as 436 and he died in 487/488 on the 6th February. Although in recent years his feastday has been moved from that date to the following date, February 7th.

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