Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Naimh Lorcan Ua Tuathail

Yet another major feast day today: St Laurence O'Toole - Lorcan Ua Tuathail in the Irish - has his feast today in Ireland. If I recall correctly, a solemnity in the Archdiocese of Dublin as he is the Archdiocese's principal patron. In fact, he was the first native Irish Archbishop of Dublin. Dublin was founded by Vikings and all previous bishops had been of Norse heritage. As St Laurence lived at the time of Strongbow and Henry II of England, his successors for several hundred years were mostly English.

The good old Catholic Encyclopædia has a basic life here. The Catholic Information Network has another here with a bit more commentary. His body lies in a shrine in Eu in France where he died according to what -- so far as I can tell -- is the most reliable story. According to another story, it was transferred to the parish church of St Laurence in Chorley, England where the relics were lost under Henry VIII. All the accounts agree, though, that his heart is in a simple, iron reliquary in Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin.

The leading pipe band in the Republic of Ireland
(you knew this was coming, didn't you) is named after him.

Christchurch: St Laurence's cathedral, now maintained by the Church of Ireland.