St Ergnat / Erenait

Virgin of Tamhlacht, Co Armagh and Duneane (Dún-dá-éan, or Fort-of-Two-Birds), Co Antrim. 5th century. Feastday: 8th January.

St Ergnat flourished around 460. She is said to have been the daughter of Darius/Daire, son of Derga. She was a contemporary of St Patrick and tradition has it that she received the veil from him. It is said that her love of God was earnest and sedulous. Her pure-mindedness and observance of charitable and pious works served to single her out from among other pious women, whose labour included general work and keeping in repair, and also washing, the sacred vestments. These offices accorded with the tastes and zeal of St Ergnat, while nothing on her part was left undone to promote the splendour and decency becoming the Divine Mysteries. Her closing years were marked by many signs and miracles. She is thought to have died near the end of the 5th century and was buried at Tamhlacht-bó. There are 2 festival dates commemorating her; the 8th of January is given as her Natalis, i.e. death, and the other on the 30th of October, probably some translation of her relics.

Print This Article