July 8

Saint Kilian (- 689) was born in County Cavan, Ireland. He was a missionary bishop and the apostle of Franconia, which is nowadays the northern part of Bavaria, in the late 7th century. He preached the Gospel in Würzburg and converted the local Duke and much of the population. He was martyred by beheading, possibly at the behest of the Duke’s wife, possibly because she was the widow of the Duke’s brother and Kilian had declared her subsequent marriage to the Duke to be illegal.

Saint Withburga (- 743) was the youngest daughter of King Anna of East Anglia. After her father had fallen in battle she took the veil and lived mostly in East Dereham, a nunnery which she had founded. After her death c.743, her body was stolen by monks from Ely and enshrined there.

 

July 7

 Saint Maelruain (- c.791) founded the monastery at Tallaght, in County Dublin. Together with St Aengus he wrote a detailed Rule for the community, which is an important document in the history of early JULY 7

 

July 6

Saint Moninne (c432-518) founded a community of female hermits in  Co.Armagh; there is a tradition that she received the veil from St. Patrick. Late in her life she founded the convent at Killeavy, where she died.

 

JULY 1

 St Oliver Plunkett (1625 – 1681)was archbishop of Armagh and primate of All Ireland from 1668, at a time when the country was in a state of civil and religious disorder after the interventions of Oliver Cromwell. He persevered for ten years in his effort to ameliorate this state of affairs, until the discovery of a non-existent “Popish Plot” against the English government (invented and revealed by Titus Oates, who implicated many before he was executed for his part in it) gave the authorities an excuse to act against many prominent Catholics. Plunkett was arrested in Ireland but taken to London for trial; one of his companions was saved by being appointed as Bavarian Ambassador to London and therefore acquiring diplomatic immunity, but for Plunkett there was no such escape, and he was hanged at Tyburn, cheating his executioners by dying before he could be ceremonially disembowelled.

His remains are preserved at Downside Abbey, together with such other relics as the notes for his defence at his trial; on the occasion of his canonization in 1975 his casket was opened and some parts of his body given to the cathedral at Drogheda in Ireland.

 

Categories: Our Catholic Heritage