Benignus (2)

Benignus a name appearing in both Scotch and Irish hagiography.

1. Dempster, at Aug. 9, 436, gives a Benignus, presbyter at Lesmahago, on the authority of the long-lost Collectanea of Gilbert Brown, abbot of Sweetheart. See Forbes, Kal. of Scott. Saints, p. 278.

2. Brother of St. Cethechus, and a disciple of St. Patrick, by whom he was made abbot of the Monastery of Drumlias, which he ruled for twenty years. Colgan (Acta SS. p. 788, etc.) doubts whether this Benignus may not be the Benignus who is venerated at Glastonbury, Eng. Some imagine that it was Benignus of Armagh who went to Glastonbury. See Ussher, De Brit. Eccl. Prim. (Dublin, 1639) p. 876; Lanigan, Ecclesiastical Hist. of Ireland, 1, 318.

3. The most famous is St. Benignus (or Benen), son of Sescnen, and primate of Armagh (commemorated Nov. 9). Tradition says that when St. Patrick landed at Colp he came first to the house of Sescnen, and, in' baptizing him and his house, gave to one of his sons the name of Benignus, whom he also took along with him. St. Benignus succeeded to Armagh A.D, 455, and in the lists of the Coarbs of St. Patrick is usually placed third after that saint. Most Irish authorities date the arrival of St. Patrick and the baptism of St. Benignus at A.D. 432. Benignus died in 468, and is counted the special apostle and patron of Connaught. See O'Conor, Rer. Hib. Script. ii, 109, 112; O'Curry, Lect. on Anc. Ireland, ii, 25, 46, 66; O'Donovan, Four Masters, 1, 134.

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