Thursday, March 24, 2011

St Macarten, pray for us

Tréanfhear of Patrick

Macartan (Aedh MacCairthinn) was a convert from paganism. He is said to have gone south from his home in the north to hear Patrick preach and that their first meeting took place at Drumlease, near Dromahair, County Leitrim. Soon he was baptised and became a companion and bodyguard to Patrick and became known as the "strong man" (tréanfhear) of Patrick. When Patrick became worn out by his labours, Macartan would carry him on his broad shoulders across rivers and over rough ground. (from


A noble feast we celebrate,
A holy man we venerate,
Great Mac-Carten it is he,
Hear us, blessed Trinity.

Most innocent of sinful guile,
He guided others, and the while
Many wonders wrought in praise
Of his Maker all his days.

Oftimes the sick he visited,
And raised to life the nearly dead,
And many tribes baptized he
In St. Patrick's company.

Upon the earth he lived to God,
And in his Master's footprints trod.
Thus conquering the world at last,
He to eternal glory passed.

He could do much on earth before,
Happy in heaven he can do no more.
May Mac-Carten keep us free
From pain of endless misery !

Written by Patrick Culin, Bishop of Clogher,died 1868 (excerpt)

Irish Ecclesiastical Review, Vol 6, 1869, 275-276

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