Saint Comgall

Comgall, or Congal, Saint, was born in 516, of a distinguished Dalaradian family.

As he grew up, religious yearnings pressed on him; he travelled, and found a home with St. Fintan at Clonenagh.

Repressing his dislike to the severity of the discipline, he continued there some time, and was afterwards ordained priest at Clonmacnoise.

After retirement on an island in Lough Erne, he settled at Bangor, on the shore of Belfast Lough, in the year 559, and founded the famous monastery and rule with which his name has been ever since associated.

Numbers of monks were attracted to the institution, and even Cormac, King of Hy Kinsellagh, retired thither in his old age.

In the seventh year after its establishment, he, with St. Brendan and others, visited Columcille in the Western Isles.

He died at Bangor in 601, aged about 85.

Lanigan says:

“St. Coemgall has been justly reckoned among the fathers of the Irish Church; whether he was the author of certain tracts attributed to him, besides his monastic rule, I leave to others to enquire.”

His festival is the 10th of May.


119. Ecclesiastical History of Ireland: Rev. John Lanigan. 4 vols. Dublin, 1822.