« Caiaphas Caillin, Saint, of Fenagh Cain, Kenites »

Caillin, Saint, of Fenagh

CAILLIN, SAINT, OF FENAGH: Irish saint of the "second order" who flourished about 560. His alleged history is a typical one among the stories of the Irish "saints," and is also noteworthy for the light it throws on the conditions of the time and the progress of Christianity in pagan Ireland. Caillin's kinsmen of Dunmore (County Galway) had determined to slay a part of their number, the land having become overpopulated; but, on the advice of the saint, who had received Christian education in Rome, they 336desisted, and Caillin undertook to find more land. In the course of the search he came to Fenagh (County Leitrim, 3 m. s.w. of. Ballinamore), where he converted the kings son, Hugh, and a band of warriors sent to drive him away. The prince then gave the saint his fortress and the latter built a church there. When the druids came, at the king's behest, to expel Caillin, he restrained his Christian followers from attacking them, and turned them into stones. Hugh succeeded to the throne on his father's death; he was known as "the Dark" from his personal appearance, but Caillin made him of fair complexion. Notwithstanding his love of peace, Caillin is said to have given the tribe a cathach or standard, a mighty talisman in battle.

Bibliography: The Book of Fenagh, ed. D. H. Kelly and W. M. Hennessy, Dublin, 1875; T. Olden, The Church of Ireland, pp. 65–67, London, 1892.

« Caiaphas Caillin, Saint, of Fenagh Cain, Kenites »
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