Sermon for the Third Sunday in Lent, 3rd March 2013 — 3 Comments

  1. Hi Ian, came on your blog to contact you not to read your sermon!! However l did, it is very thought provoking as most of your sermons that l have read, are. Our rector doesn’t preach sermons, he walks about for a few minutes and just usually talks about the Gospel reading, but there is nothing like listening to a good sermon and a good preacher. Now, i’ve flattered you enough, now to what l wanted to ask you. St Gobban, who as you know founded the monastery in Leighlin is supposed to have been buried in Clonenagh, l don’t suppose you would know anything about where?? I notice in your magazine notes, you mention Seir Kieran as being the most ancient Christian site in Cashel and Ossory, l wonder if the two places are connected. I found a reference to St Gobban being buried in Clonenagh at the beginning of my research, but unfortunately cannot find it now, and if l mention it, l need to footnote the source. If by any chance you know anything about Clonenagh and St Gobban being buried there, perhaps you’d be kind enough to let me know. It seems stange that St Gobban would have been buried in Co. Laois, when he went off to found another monastery in Killmary in Ossory when St Laserian arrived, it is hard to clarify anything that happened in the seventh century unless it is documented. Hope you may be able to help, if not, it doesn’t matter, i’ll get round it somehow. Just looked at Clonenagh on the Google map, it seems a deserted place even though it is on/off the main road out of Mountrath. Hope you are taking it a little easier, and are well. If you want to contact me you can always send a friend’s request to fb and leave me a message!!! or you have my e-mail address above. Many thanks, and Blessings to you.

  2. Ciaran the Elder was said to be pre-Patrician so Seir Kieran is ipso facto the oldest site in the diocese.

    Clonenagh was some centuries later. I conducted a burial service at the site last Sunday afternoon. There is little indication of its antiquity. I had not heard of Gobban, is he a variant of Gobhan, the patron of Seagoe Parish in Portadown?

  3. Hi Ian, no, St Gobban founded the monastery at Leighlin (Old) circa late 6th/7th century. He became the Abbot. He then left it to Laserian, as he was a very holy man, St Gobban decided to leave Laserian in charge of the monastery at Old Leighlin and went on to establish another religious house, possibly in Killmary in Ossory.
    According to sources, St Gobban was from Kill-Lamraidhe, in the west of Ossory, his feast day is the 6th
    of December. Again, according to sources, he was laid to rest in Clonenagh, where his relics are preserved.
    There is nothing much known about him apart from what l have just told you. Clonenagh seems to spring up in quite a few places, ie. The Red Book of Clonenagh which no longer exists, held all the records of the
    Synod of Rathbreasil. Not quite sure if he came from Ossory, why he should have been buried in Laois, but in those days l suppose people were buried in lots of places which differed from their own birthplace. The Synod of Rathbreasil was held in 1111, so, this red book, must have existed from that date, but why Clonenagh?? and it is surprising that this is the place where St Gobban is purported to be buried.
    I don’t think it is possible to know exactly where he is buried, but just thought it might be within your parish boundaries, but it is as you say not likely to yield any sign because it is too ancient. I might at a later stage visit Seir Kieran and take a photograph for my thesis, lt would be an interesting reference.
    Thankyou, appreciate your comments. Off now to meet the bishop in Leighlinbridge!! Take care.

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