Friday, June 06, 2008

6 June -- St Jarlath

Today is the feast of St Jarlath in the calendar proper to Ireland. I rather think he ought to be the patron of those with cars broken down by the side of the freeway. And of flat tires. Oh, yes, definitely flat tires.

Mrs D'Arcy says of St Jarlath:

The prelates of Tuam wear a ring engraved with a broken chariot wheel, Jarlath's chariot wheel of 1400 years ago. Still further back, the saint's ancestry is traced to Fergus MacRoy, the warrior romanticized into Irish epic literature.

Patrick taught Benin and Benen taught Jarlath and placed him at Clonfuis. Jarlath's pupils there numbered Brendan the Navigator and Colman MacLenini, later of Cloyne. Brendan told Jarlath he was not to remain at Clonfuis but should go eastward and where his chariot wheel should break, there was to build his church. It broke at Tuam.

And that is indeed supposed to be the very wheel at the top.

The site of his church is now the Church of Ireland Cathedral, which was extensively rebuilt in the 19th century, but still contains elements of a prior rebuilding in the 12th century by King Turlough O'Conor.