Aidan of Lindisfarne

 Saint Patrick‘s “Threin Fhir”, or “Strong Man” 
The original Treanor, Traynor, Trainor, Trainer, Trenor, Trayner, Trener, Treinfhir, McCreanor, Treynor

Saint Mac Cairthinn, also MacartanMcCartan (died 506), is recognized as the first presiding Bishop of Clogher from 454 to his death. One of the earliest Christian saints in Ireland, he is known as Saint Patrick‘s “Threin Fhir”, or “Strong Man” for his dedication and faithfulness to the fledgling Church. His feast day is 24 March.


Saint Macartan grew up in the southern part of Ireland, somewhere  in Munster. Before his conversion to Christianity by Patrick, the future saint was known by the name Aidus/Aedh, the son of Caerthen (son of the Rowan Tree). The identity of his father is uncertain, but is sometimes associated with a Dalcassian prince of Thomond or with the Uí Maine of Connacht. Hence the Anglicized later name to come down to us is “Macartan”.[1] Some sources claim that he was uncle to Saint Brigid.

Hearing of Patrick’s teaching, Aidus traveled from his home to hear him preach in Armagh, leaving behind his wife and child. He first met Patrick at Drumlease, near Dromahair, County Leitrim. Here Macartan was baptized and soon became one of Patrick’s official missionary staff. He was spoken of as Patrick’s “champion” or “strong man”. We are told that when the great Apostle was worn out by his work that Macartan supported his faltering steps over rough roads, marshes and rivers by carrying him. Macartan was initially ordained to the role of presbyter (priest) while Patrick was still living, possible by Patrick himself.

He was the “staff of Patrick” in the Irish patron saint’s declining years. On one occasion after carrying Patrick over a river, an exhausted Macartan expressed a wish that he might be relieved from further travel and allowed settle down in charge of some church close by his beloved master where he could spend the evening of his life in peace. Patrick, full of sympathy for his faithful companion and friend, agreed that he should establish a monastery in Clogher, and finish out his life there. A monastery was established near the ancient royal fort of Rathmore on the outskirts of the town and one of Ireland’s oldest bishoprics was established. To commemorate the occasion Patrick gave Macartan his staff and a number of precious relics contained in a shrine known to tradition as the Domnach Airgid.

Domnach Airgid

The Domnach Airgid (the Silver church) was made to enclose a manuscript that consists of fragments of 39 sheets of the Gospels, written in the distinctively Irish lettering of the eighth or ninth century. On the cover of the Domnach Airgid is one of the earliest surviving metalwork images of St. Patrick. Traditionally, the book was claimed to be that given by St Patrick himself to his companion St Macartan, making it an object of great veneration. Around 1350, the abbot of Clones, John O Carbry, commissioned a substantial remodelling of the Domnach Airgid. The figure of St. Patrick is thought to be at the lower right of the cover. In the lower left St. Patrick may be handing the Domnach Airgid to St. Macartan. The Domnach Airgid is no. 48 in A History of Ireland in 100 Objects, and can be seen in the National Museum of Ireland.


Saint Macartan, the patron saint of the Diocese of Clogher:

    • Macartan was a convert from paganism and companion of Saint Patrick.
    • He established the church in Clogher and spread the Gospel in Tyrone and Fermanagh.
    • He was known as the strong man of Patrick. It is said that when Patrick became worn out by his labours Macartan would sometimes carry him on his broad shoulders over rough ground.
    • He was the uncle of Saint Brigid.
    • He was said to be made bishop of Clogher by Patrick himself in the year 454.
    • He died in the year 506 from natural causes.

    • The two cathedrals of Clogher Diocese are named after him, albeit with different spellings:
      St Macartan’s, Clogher and St Macartin’s, Enniskillen.
    • St Macartan’s Day is celebrated on March 24th.
    • See reference:

The Collect of St Macartan’s Day
Heavenly Father,
we thank you for Macartan, faithful companion of Saint Patrick,
and builder of your church in Clogher:
Build up your church through those whom you call to leadership
in this generation,
and strengthen your church to proclaim the gospel
of reconciliation and peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

St Macartan’s Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Clogher in Ireland. It is located in the townland of Latlurcan, Monaghan town in the ecclesiastical parish of Monaghan and Rackwallace. It was built between the years of 1861 and 1893 and is the only Catholic cathedral in the county.

The cathedra of the Bishop of Clogher was removed to Monaghan town in the mid-19th century. The plan for the cathedral was proposed in 1858 by Bishop Charles MacNally. The site was purchased in 1861. Architect James Joseph McCarthy (1817–1882) designed the cathedral in a 14th-century Gothic architectural style was begun in 1862. Most limestone was quarried locally. Architect William Hague Jr. (1840–1899) from Cavan oversaw the building of the spire after 1882, which stands 81 metres high, as well as the gate lodge. Bishop James Donnelly, bishop of Clogher from 1864 to 1893, oversaw most of the building and dedicated it on 21 August 1892 to the service of God and the patronage of Macartan, the diocese’s patron saint. The cathedral was renovated and the beautiful interior was simplified and left feeling bare. For those looking to pray to the Blessed Sacrament, the tabernacle can be found out of immediate eyesight on the right hand side of the sanctuary.

St Macartan’s Cathedral, Clogher is one of two cathedral churches in the Diocese of Clogher (the other is St Macartin’s Cathedral, Enniskillen) in the Church of Ireland. It is situated in the village of Clogher, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland in the ecclesiastical province of Armagh.

It was designed in 1744 by architect James Martin in a neo-classical style.

According to tradition a monastery and bishopric were founded in Clogher circa 490 by St. Macartan on the orders of St. Patrick.

In 1041, the church of Clogher was rebuilt, and dedicated to the memory of St. Macartin. It was again rebuilt in 1295 by Matthew M’Catasaid, Bishop of Clogher, but burnt to the ground on 20 April 1396 along with two chapels, the abbey, the court of the bishops, and thirty-two other buildings with all their contents. In 1610 the abbey and its revenues were confiscated by King James I and given to the Diocese of Clogher.

The present building was erected on the site in 1744.

St Macartin’s Cathedral, Enniskillen, is one of two cathedral churches in the Diocese of Clogher (the other is St Macartan’s Cathedral, Clogher) in the Church of Ireland. It stands on high ground overlooking the town of EnniskillenCounty FermanaghNorthern Ireland in the ecclesiastical province of Armagh.

It was completed in 1842 as St Anne’s Parish Church but rededicated as St Macartin’s Cathedral in 1923. It incorporates elements of a former church building and has a 150-foot (45 m) tower and spire. The tower houses a peal of ten bells, which can also be chimed to play tunes. The three manual electro-pneumatic action organ consists of thirty-three operated speaking stops, together with full pedal board and enclosed swell and choir divisions.

The dean and chapter of Clogher have their stalls in this cathedral and also at the senior cathedral in Clogher.

The first church building on the site was completed around 1627 as part of the original building of the town of Enniskillen. By 1832 that building had become structurally unsafe and was replaced by the present building, which was completed in 1842. The chancel was enlarged in 1889.

In 1923 the church was rededicated as St Macartin’s Cathedral, thus becoming the second cathedral of Clogher Diocese.

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