Celtic Saint Fanchea of Ross Oirthir,  1 January 2017

Saint Fanchea of Ross Oirthir, January 1

We begin the month of January with a female saint, Fanchea of Ross Oirthir, sister to Enda (Endeus) of Aran. Canon O’Hanlon’s account of her below

illustrates one of the strengths of his Lives of the Irish Saints, for he has relied on the account of the great 17th-century Irish hagiologist, Father John Colgan, a work I would have found it difficult to otherwise access. It seems that Colgan himself lamented that no Life of Saint Fanchea had survived and he was thus forced to use the Life of her more famous brother as a primary source. The Life of Saint Enda appears to credit Fanchea with having played a crucial role in both the conversion of her brother and in his decision to pursue the monastic life. She is portrayed as having acted as a counsellor in spiritual matters and he as having heeded her advice. There is a particularly interesting account of both having been pilgrims in Rome and of some Latin visitors coming to Ireland.


Source: Omnium Sanctorum Hiberniae-Saint Fanchea of Ross Oirthir, January 1