Celtic -St. Fechin of Fobhar-20 January 2017


Fore Abbey, Castlepollards, County Westmeath

St. Fechin of Fobhar (Fore), Abbot
(Vigean, Virgin)

20 January

Born at Bile Fechin (Connaught), Ireland; died c. 665. Fechin, the abbot-founder of several Irish monasteries, was trained by Saint Nathy (f.d. August 9) at Achonry, County Sligo. After a life of sanctity, he died during the great pestilence which came upon Britain and Ireland in the year after the Council at Whitby and felled four Irish kings and nearly two-thirds of the populace.

Fechin’s name is particularly connected with that of Fobhar (Fore or Foure) in Westmeath, which was his first monastic foundation, and an important one for its manuscripts. Fechin was the son of Coelcharna, descendant of Eochad Fionn, brother to the famous king Conn of the Hundred Battles, and his mother Lassair was of the royal blood of Munster. When fit to be sent to school he was placed under St Nathy of Achonry.

Having finished his studies he was ordained priest, and retired to a solitary place at Fore in Westmeath, there to live as a hermit. But he was followed by many disciples, and Fore became a monastery. Here he eventually governed over 300 monks. He is said to have pitied the monks engaged in grinding their corn in querns, he therefore brought water from a marsh to the monastery, by cutting a tunnel through the rock, and then established a water mill. Of this Giraldus Cambrensis relates the following :-

source: St. Fechin of Fobhar (Fore), Abbot (Vigean, Virgin) – Celtic Saints

  • Ambrose Mooney. 2017. St. Fechin of Fobhar (Fore), Abbot (Vigean, Virgin). [ONLINE] Available at: http://celticsaints.org/. [Accessed 22 January 2017].