Wednesday, February 21, 2024

The Great Cloud of Witnesses

St. Aedan of Ferns
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M.

St. Aedan of Ferns

January 31

St. Aedan was the son of Eithne and Sedna, chief of Connaught.  A widespread reputation for sanctity brought him potential disciples in his youth; he fled to Kilmulne, Wales, to escape them.  He became one of Saint David’s most faithful disciples.  He returned to Ireland in 580 with a band of disciples, including St. Caillan and settled in Brentrocht, Leinster.  He founded thirty churches and several monasteries in that district, the best known being Ferns in Wexford, built on land given him by Brandubh, King of Leinster.  He was ordained the first bishop of Ferns around 598; the episcopal seat of Ferns is now at Enniscorthy, where there is a beautiful cathedral dedicated to Aedan, miracle worker.  Late in life he retired to live as a peaceful monk.  His feast is kept on January 31.

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