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Ordnance Survey Letters by John O'Donovan and Eugene Curry, 1839

Parish of Moynoe (c)

Colgan’s version of the conversation between St. Camin, Guaire Aidhne and St. Cumin in the great Church of Iniscealtra:-

AA. SS. p. 746. Die XXV Martii. De S. Camino Abbate Inis Keltraensi.

Illustrious is the testimony respecting the severity of life, and the more admirable than imitable study of mortification exercised by this Holy Man, which St. AEnguss or his old Scholiast in the glosses or augmentation of the Festilogy of AEnguss, presents at the 25th of March in these words:-

Whilst S. Cuminus (page 746, Col.I, Et. lin. 50 pro Cuminus lege Caminus vide Mutanda & Addenda p.805) and S. Cumineus, by surname, the Tall, were on a certain day in the Church which S. Camin founded on the island called Inis-Keltra, situated on Lough Dergdherc, conversing spiritually about matters concerning the soul, with Guaire Aidhne, King of Connaught; St. Camin, among other discourses, says to Guaire, with what things would you, O King, wish to have this Church filled, which might be converted to use according to your desires? Guaire replied saying: I would wish to have so great treasures of gold and silver as that Church could contain; not indeed lead on by covetousness of worldly riches, but that I might lay them out for the use of the Saints of God for the purpose (or on the occasion) of erecting Churches and (relieving) the wants of other poor Christians (other poor people of Christ). The Man of God, inspired with the Holy Spirit says to the King: The Lord will benignly look to your pious wishes and will give you much riches to be piously laid out for the salvation of your soul. Guaire heartily (ex animo heartily, from the heart, sic) embracing that prophetic promise and giving immense (infinite) thanks, said to St. Cumin: And you, servant of God, with what things would you desire to have that Church filled? St. Cumin replied, would to God! I had so many sacred volumes as this Church could contain (hold) to bestow them on students of divine wisdom for the dissemination of the salutary doctrine of Christ among people, and [1] for the purpose of withdrawing them from the service of the devil, and leading [2] them to a faithful observance of the Commandments of God. And when both afterwards enquired of St. Camin, of what sort would he himself wish to have that Church full, the faithful servant of Christ, the wonderful follower of Evangelical perfection [3] and of true wisdom, says, if this Church were full of infirm (persons) affected with various kinds of languishments and sicknesses, I would wish, if it would please the Lord, that all the infirmities of all (those persons) should come [4] upon my little body alone, and that I should endure them patiently for the love of the Saviour who vouchsafed to suffer for mine [5] and the infirmities of the whole world. But every one of them afterwards obtained through the most merciful indulgence [6] of the Lord, the effect (the bringing to pass) of his desire [7] . For Guaire obtained earthly riches; St. Cumin attained to (got) the gift of knowledge and wisdom from the Lord, but St. Camin as he wished, always afterwards laboured through the dispensation of God, under so many and so great infirmities, which he bore most patiently for the love of Christ, that his whole flesh became utterly wasted, and the nerves of his body were loosed, and his bones were hardly joined to one another until he gave up his most pure spirit to his Saviour. And thus these three most pious men, having obtained their different desires, which tended to the same end, purchased the Kingdom of Heaven, which they had purposed (intended) in fine!

XXV of March.
Of St. Caminus Abbot of Inis-Keltra : AA. SS. p.746, Col. a.

Some of the ancient Hagiologists place the birthday of St. Caminus, who is also called by some Caninus [8] on this day, but others on the preceding day.

The Holy Man flourished in virtues and miracles about the year of Salvation 640. He was the son of Dima [9] of the race of Enda Kenselach, and the most noble stock of the Kings of Leinster; and he had for his stepbrother (germanum, maternal brother) that Guaire [10] the son of Colman, King of Connaught, whom our historians extol with wonderful encomiums on account of the excellent endowments of his mind, but especially his distinguished liberality. For they say that the mother of both was Cumania otherwise Mumania, the daughter of Dalbronius, a woman of very celebrated name on account of (her) numerous and holy offspring, of whom (i.e., of Cumania) elsewhere. But this Caminus, through a desire of more abstracted life, betook himself to a certain island lying in Lake Derg-dherc on the confines of Thomond and the Co. of Galway, commonly called Inis-Kentra (1 in corrigend) and there, when sequestered for some years from the intercourse of men, he, in continual castigations of his own flesh, in fasts, watchings, and the diligent contemplation of heavenly (subjects) had undergone a severe conflict with the world and the devils, at length, the fame of his virtues and the most austere institute betraying him, he so attracted almost innumerable disciples to the admiration and imitation of him, that in the end the number of his sons increasing daily, he erected there a noble and spacious Monastery, in which he eminently trained (established) up a numerous fraternity of Monks as if in a sort of Angelical life and most holily governed (them). This Monastery became afterwards so great (an object) of veneration on account of the reverence (paid to its) most holy founder and the almost innumerable multitude of Saints resting there (in it) that it was deservedly reckoned among the principal Monasteries of this Island, and is thence considered an inviolable asylum and City of Refuge.
Illustrious is the testimony which St. AEnguss or his old Scholiast in the glosses or addition to the Festilogium AEngussianum at the 25th of March, gives of this holy man’s severity of life, and admirable more than imitable study of mortification, in these words:-

Whilst on a certain day St. Caminus and St.Cumineus, surnamed the Tall [11] were in the Church which St. Caminus founded in the island called Inis-Keltra, situated in Lough Derg-dherc, spiritually discoursing of matters concerning the soul, with Guaire Adhne, King of Connaught, etc., etc, etc.

These from the cited Scholia, to which there do not occur other things which I can subjoin (add) unless that this distinguished despiser of the world and inexorable chastiser of his flesh, is said to have published Commentaries [12] on the Psalms; of which we have beheld with our eyes what he has commented on the 119th Psalm, written, as tradition says with his own hand. He departed in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord [13] 653, and he was buried in his own Monastery of Inis-Keltra; in which also that his birthday is celebrated with festivity [14] on this 25th of March St. AEnguss and St. Maelruana hand down in the Martyrology of Tallaght, but others on the 24th of the same.