St Ernan

12/22
Saint Ernan Mac Eogan or Mhic Eòghainn (-c640), generation 46 uncle.
Gaelic Irish missionary abbot to Gaelic Scotland.

Saint Ernan, son of Eogan, was a nephew and follower of St Columba (Colm Cille, 521-597), the famous Irish missionary abbot largely responsible for spreading Christianity among the Gaels and Picts of Scotland. The main area of activity for both Ernan and Columba was the Gaelic Celtic kingdom of Dál Riata which included parts of northeastern Ireland and parts of western Scotland and the Hebrides or Western Isles along the west coast of Scotland.

Ernan is named after his relative St Ernan of Hinba, an uncle of Columba. At least two other close relatives were also saints named Ernan, all descendants of King Niall of the Nine Hostages whose pirate warriors probably kidnapped St Patrick and at least one of his several sisters as children and sold them into slavery.

St Ernan’s home abbey was in Ireland at Druim-Tomma in the district of Drumhome, County Donegal. He is venerated as the patron saint: of the parish of Drumhome, where a school has been dedicated to him; of Killernan in County Clare; of Kilviceuen (Cill Mhic Eòghainn “church of the son of Eogan”) on Mull, and of Kilearnadale on Jura (Mull and Jura are among the Inner Hebrides islands of Scotland).

His feast day is listed as January 1 in the Martyrology of Tallaght (c 790-830), and in the early Scottish Kalendars, it is commemorated on December 21 and 22.

The photo is of the church built by St Ernan on the Isle of Mull

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