Lesser Known Saints

Abbán moccu Corbmaic also known as Eibbán or Moabba, (d. 520?)
Abban is the Irish Saint of the week. Most of the information we have about Abban comes from the three different versions, two in latin and one in Irish (although this one is incomplete), however these are not the best sources as one indicates that Abban lives 300 years. Not much is known about his early life the hagiographies indicate that he was expected to follow his father and become King of Leinster, but Abban’s devotion to God and miracles associated with him pointed his life towards the Church. It then says that he was sent to Íbar, his uncle who was a bishop. He might have also been connected to Patrick, but there isn’t much evidence of this.  Throughout the text Abbán is seen demonstrating his powers and exercising authority over rivers and seas. Abban might be the brother of Gobnait and he might have given her church\nunnery in Ballyvourney it is said that his grave was to be found near here. Although there is another account of his later life which indicates that Abban became a missionary and founded the Abingdon which mean either “house of Aben” (Irish) or “hill of Aben” (English) then it says that he was reposed in Abingdon. So who really knows.

Alexius or Alexis of Rome or Edessa (early 5th century)
According to the legend Alexius was born to a wealthy Christian Roman senator and Alexius fled from an arranged marriage to follow his holy vocation. He fled dressed as a beggar eventually ending up in Edessa where still dressed as a beggar he began accepting alms, Alexius it is said even servants from his own household who were sent out to find him didn’t recognize him until BV Mary revealed him as a “Man of God”. Alexius eventually returned home where his parents didn’t even recognize him, but they brought him in being good Christians and sheltered him for seventeen years. He taught catechism and prayed. fter his death, his family found writings on his body which told them who he was and how he had lived his life of penance from the day of his wedding, for the love of God. It wasn’t until his death that his family discovered who he was, as they found writings on him which indicated who he was and how he lived a life of penance since his wedding. The Catholic Church has removed his offical feast day like Valentine as the legend associated with the saint may not be totally true the Catholic Encyclopedia says that  “Perhaps the only basis for the story is the fact that a certain pious ascetic at Edessa lived the life of a beggar and was later venerated as a saint. If Alexius is a legend or not he is still an interesting figure.

John of Nepomuk better known as John Nepomucene (c. 1345 – March 20, 1393)
John is a martyr and is the patron saint of Bohemia. He is best known as being the first martyr  who refused to break the seal of confession. The story goes that he was the confessor of the Queen of Bohemia and the King wanted to know what she said, and for refusing to tell he was tossed from the Charles Bridge and into the Vltva, where he died. Although reading a bit more on the subject it is more likely that John was murdered for not supporting the right Pope, in his time there were two Popes one in Avignon  and the other in Rome, as Pope Gregory XI moved the papacy back to Rome, but died and two Pope rose one in Avignon, Antipope Clement VII, who the King favored and the other in Rome Ubran VI, who the archbishop of Prague supported  (if you ever have some free time it’s an interesting period to read about). John went against the King’s wishes and appointed the archbishop’s choice for Abbot.

The week we also celebrate the feasts of Patrick and Joseph.


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