Saint Mochuda

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The Life Of St. Mochuda Of Lismore

By Saint Mochuda

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Saint Mochuda,
Saint Carthage of Lismore
Born c. 555in County Kerry Ireland
Died 14 May 637in Lismore Ireland
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Feast May 14
Patronage Patron of Lismore
Saints Portal

Saint Mochuda (also known as Carthage of Lismore or Carthage the Younger) was an Irish bishop and abbot of the sixth and seventh centuries. His feast day is May 14.

Carthage, was born in what is now County Kerry, Ireland, about the year 555. He spent his youth as a swineherd near Castlemaine, and became a monk in a neighbouring monastery under the guidance of St. Carthage the Elder, subsequently being ordained a priest. In 580 he determined to lead a hermit's life, and he built a cell at Kiltallagh, where his fame soon attracted pilgrims. After a few years, the jealousy of two neighbouring abbots (or bishops) forced him to leave his hermitage. He then proceeded on a visit to Bangor, where he spent a year. On the advice of St. Comgall he returned to Kerry and founded churches at Kilcarragh and Kilfeighney. He then visited Waterford, Clonfert-molua (Kyle), and Lynally, whence, on the recommendation of Saint Elo Colman, he settled at Rahan, near Tullamore, in the present King's County.

St. Carthage then founded a monastery of Rahan about 590, and soon had c. 100 of disciples. He was consecrated Abbot-Bishop of the Fercal district, and composed a rule for his monks, an Irish metrical poem of 580 lines, divided into nine separate sections -- one of the most interesting literary relics of the early Irish Church. Numerous miracles are also attributed to him.

At length, Blathmaic, a Meathian prince, instigated by the neighbouring monks, ordered St. Carthage to leave Rahan. This expulsion of the saint and eight hundred of his community took place at Eastertide of the year 635. Journeying by Saigher, Roscrea, Cashel, and Ardfinnan, St. Carthage at length came to the banks of the River Blackwater, where he was given a foundation by the Prince of the Decies, and thus sprang up the episcopal city of Lios-mor, or Lismore, County Waterford.

Although Rahan had become quite famous, it was eclipsed by the fame of the new monastery at Lisemore, even though Carthage lived less than two years at his new foundation. He spent the last eighteen months of his life in contemplation and prayer, in a cave near the present St. Carthage's Well. When at the point of death, he summoned his monks and gave them his farewell exhortation and blessing. Fortified by the Body of Christ he died on the 14th of May, 637, on which day his feast is celebrated as first Bishop and Patron of Lismore. Short as was St. Carthage's stay in Lismore, he left a great impression of his labours in a famous abbey, cathedral, and fledgling university.

Carthage was known for his transcendent virtue, and to guard it he practised the severest penances. On this account St. Cuimin of Connor thus writes of him in an Irish quatrain:

The beloved Mochuda of mortification,
Admirable every page of his history.
Before his time there was no one who shed
Half so many tears as he shed.

Usher had two manuscript copies of the Irish life of St. Carthage; and in 1634 Philip O'Sullivan Beare sent a Latin translation to Father John Bollandus, S.J. The "Vita Secunda" is the one usually quoted. In 1891 the present writer discovered the site of the Relig Mochuda in which St. Carthage was buried. His Life is preserved in both a Latin and Irish version; the latter was translated into English by Rev. P. Power in 1914.

This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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