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Flannan


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(7th century),

bishop. There are cults of St Flannan in both Ireland and Scotland; the fact that the feast-day is the same in the two countries makes it likely that they refer to the same person. In Ireland Flannan is closely connected with Killaloe, whose cathedral formerly housed his relics and besides which a stone oratory survives, believed to be his. According to the late and unreliable Legends Flannan was the disciple and successor of Molua, founder of the monastery of Killaloe. Like other Irish monks he was both a wanderer and a preacher. His Legend attributes to him churches at Lough Corrib and at Inishbofin and an incident on the Isle of Man. In Scotland the Flannan islands, to the west of Lewis and Harris, are named after him; on one of these there are monastic remains called the chapel of Flannan. As late as 1678–9 there is record of men visiting these islands for the sake of killing the numerous birds and regarding it as a sacred place. Feast: 18 December.

W. W. Heist, Vitae Sanctorum Hiberniae (1965), pp. 280–301;P. Grosjean, ‘Catalogus codicum hagiographicorum latinorum bibliothecarum Dubliniensium’, Anal. Boll., xlvi (1928), 124–41; K.S.S., p. 350; The Irish Saints, pp. 177–80;H. G. Leask, ‘The Church of St Lua’, J.R.S.A.I., xl (1930), 130–6.

Subjects: Christianity.


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