Mél of Ardagh
|Mel of Ardagh|
|Patronage||Diocese of Ardagh and Clanmacnois|
Saint Mel or Moel was born in the earlier part of the fifth century and is said to have been the son of Saint Patrick's sister, Darerca. and Conis, a Briton. Melcame to Ireland with his uncle, Saint Patrick, with whom he worked until he was ordained in Ardagh. He is one of the earliest Irish saints
Mel helped evangelize Ireland while supporting himself through manual labor. Mel built the monastery of Ardagh where he was both bishop and abbot, and is said to have had the gift of prophecy. He accepted Saint Brigid of Kildare's profession as a nun, and served as her mentor while she was in Ardagh.
Mel lived with his aunt, Lupait, on her farm during a portion of his ministry, and rumor spread that their relationship was of a scandalous nature. St. Patrick went to investigate. Mel and Lupait both produced miracles to testify to their innocence: Mel plowed up a live fish in the middle of his field, and Lupait carried hot coals without being burned.
He died in 488.
He is the patron saint of the Roman Catholic diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, and is commemorated in the name of the cathedral church of the diocese in Longford and in the name of the main diocesan school for boys, St. Mel's College, also located in Longford town.
St. Mel's feast day, February 6, has begun to be observed as a holiday for single people. "St. Mel's Day" is a chance for singles to celebrate the good things about being single. Traditions include sending yourself a St. Mel's Day card and hosting parties for singles.
- Ryan, James. "Ardagh." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 15 Mar. 2013
- O'Hanlon M.R.I.A., Rev. John, Lives of the Irish Saints, Vol. II, James Duffy and Sons, Dublin, 1875
- Grattan-Flood, William. "St. Brigid of Ireland." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 15 Mar. 2013
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