Cassan (Caissin, Cassidanus, Cassidus)

Cassan (Caissin, Cassidanus, Cassidus)

was, according to Colgan, a common name among the saints of Ireland; he mentions four, who are also given in Mart. Doneg. and Tallaght, but whom he cannot distinguish with any historical accuracy.

1. There is entered in the Aninals of the Four Masters, "A.D. 695, Caisin, scribe of Lusca, died." He was son of Athracht, of the race of Laeghaire, son of Niall, and the monastery where he was scribe or chronicler was Lusk or Lush, now a parish in the barony of E. Balrothery, County Dublin.

2. Son of Neman. Mart. Doneg calls him "Caisin of the Dal Buain, who is of the race of Eochaidh, son of Muiredh, of the posterity of Heremon." He flourished about A.D. 530, and was a contemporary of St. Finnian of Clonard. He is commemorated March 1.

3. Of Jomdual and Domach-mor, in Magh-Echnach. About the middle of the 5th century, when St. Patrick began to preach in Ireland, St. Cassan lived in Meath. He is said to have gone on a pilgrimage to Rome, and .on his return became "Abbas, episcopus, et scholae publice rector." St. Patrick afterwards gave him the church of Domnach-mor in Magh-Echnach, and also a holy patena; at this ancient church of Donaghmore, in the barony of Lower Naran, his relics were preserved and held in the highest veneration for ages after his death. Colgan says he flourished about A.D. 456, but Ceranus or Ciaran of Saighir, a fellow-traveler to Rome, is usually placed in the following century. He is commemorated March 28.

4. Of Domnach Peduir. This Cassan of Peter's Church is probably son of Maenach, and brother of St. Fachtna of Ross. He may also be Cassidus or Cassidanus, "institutor" of St. Senan at Iniscathey. He was born in the region of Kierraighe Chuirke (probably a part of Kerry), and dwelt in the monastery of Irras, where he gave the monastic robe and tonsure to St. Senan. To this monastery, the scene of his early training, and the resting- place of his master, St. Senan was coming when he felt his own end approaching, but died on his way thither. He is commemorated June 17.

We find mention, also, of Cassan Cluain-ratha, June 20. At Dec. 3, there is a Cassan, where Dr. Reeves (Mart. Doneg. by Todd and Reeves, p. 325) cites an authority for identifying him with the martyr Cassan in Mauritania, commemorated in the Roman Martyrology.

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