Abbot at Lough Derg Co Donegal. 5th and probably early 6th centuries. Feast day: 1st January.
Da (modern do), meaning ‘thine’, and mo, meaning ‘my’, are Irish endearments for Saints.
St Beoc was born among our Celtic cousins in Wales of a very noble and regal line. He is said to have been the junior of 10 sanctified brothers and 8 holy sisters, all with the same father and mother. His father was Brecan/Braccan, son of Bracha/Bracmeoc – an Irish born Prince according to the Welsh Chronicles, and his mother was Marcella or Digna/Dina who was a noble British lady and daughter to Theodoric, Prince of Gartmartrin. Among St Beoc’s sisters are listed the Blessed Gladusa who became wife to St Gundleus and Melaria/Nonnita.
Thus St Beoc had Irish, Cymric (Welsh) and Saxon blood in his veins. He is said to have flourished during the time of St Patrick. At that time, there were constant wars, invasions and conquering by the Saxons (a German tribe) in England and Wales and St Beoc is said to have fled to Ireland to seek peace and sanctuary and so escape them all. He became a hermit on an island in Lough Derg in Co Donegal and there was joined by other monks so that a small monastery grew up. St Patrick is said to have visited Lough Derg for a Retreat and to have spent some time there. Afterwards the place became famous for pilgrimages, even down to the present day. St Beoc is also said to have foretold the coming and greatness of St Colmcille. Festivals were held to commemorate him on a number of dates, e.g. 1st January, 24th July and 16th December. It is not known when St Beoc died but it would appear to have been early in the 6th century.
No period or age has passed without exerting some almost tangible influences on the state of the society which we inherit. The very aspect of holiness lingers around the scenes and places where the Saints of old loved to dwell. This applies to many ancient Irish foundations, e.g. Armagh, Kildare, Aran, Clonard, Bangor, Clonmacnoise, Durrow, Lismore, Cashel, etc.