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Brogan, Saint

Irish saint of the sixth or seventh century

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Brogan, Saint, flourished in the sixth or seventh century. Several persons in repute for holiness seem to have borne this name, which is variously written Brogan, Broccan, Bracan, and even Bearchan and Bearchanus. Of these, two are commemorated in the Irish Martyrologium of Aengus, the early date of which (c. 800) is now generally admitted. There, under July 8, we read: “Brocan, the scribe, gained a noble triumph without any fall”; and under September 17: “Broccan of Ross Tuirc thou shouldst declare”. Colgan (Trios Thaumat., p. 518) speaks as if he were inclined to identify both these persons with the author of an early Irish hymn upon St. Brigid. The glosses upon Aengus and the Martyrology of Gorman, while seemingly treating them as distinct, prove that the matter admits of no certainty. Some modern hagiographers incline to regard the St. Brogan of July 8 as the amanuensis and possibly the nephew of St. Patrick. They style him bishop and locate him at Maethail-Brogain, now Mothil in Waterford; but this is admittedly quite doubtful. St. Brogan of Rosstuirc, on the other hand, is identified with the author of the hymn to St. Brigid, and is believed to be the Abbot Brochanus referred to in the Life of St. Abban, preserved in the “Codex Salmanticensis”. Rosstuirc is generally as-signed to the Diocese of Ossory, and may be Ross-more in Queen’s County.

Other Brochans are mentioned in the Martyrology of Gorman under January 1, April 9, June 27, and August 25.


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