Aengus Culdee

Aengus Culdee, Saint, flourished in the latter part of the 8th century, and was remarkable for piety and learning. He was educated at Clonenagh in Ossory. Embracing the monastic state, he retired to a forest near Mountrath for prayer and meditation. Fearing that the fame of his austerities would unduly exalt him, he secretly entered the abbey at Tallaght as a lay brother. He continued seven years in this laborious station; but at length was accidentally discovered by the abbot, St. Maelruan. Eugene O'Curry constantly refers in his Lectures to Aengus's Martyrology, speaking of him as "a celebrated and saintly priest, and a great Gaedhelic scholar." This Martyrology, that of Tallaght, styled by O'Hanlon "far the most valuable collection of records on Irish biographical lore that has come down to our time," he is believed to have written in conjunction with St. Maelruan. Very few copies are now extant: they are all more or less imperfect. His festival is 11th March. His death took place about 815, and he was buried at Clonenagh. The Culdees (or "Servants of God ") were religious communities. They are first mentioned in Irish history in 811. Their chief foundations in Ireland were at Tallaght, Armagh, Clonmacnoise, Clondalkin, Devenish, Clones, and Scattery Island.

Note from Addenda:

Aengus Culdee, Saint— The Martyrology of Aengus and the Martyrology of Tallaght are not the same compilation.[233]


3a. Aengus Culdee, St.: Rev. John O'Hanlon. Dublin, 1868. Allibone, S. Austin, see No. 16.

61. Burke, Edmund, Memoir: James Prior. London, 1824.

93a. Culdees: Rev. William Reeves, D.D. In Proceedings Royal Irish Academy, 1873.

233. Manuscript and Special Information, and Current Periodicals.