Reference > Rev. Alban Butler > Lives of the Saints > December
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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume XII: December.
The Lives of the Saints.  1866.
 
December 26
St. Jarlath, First Bishop of Tuam in Ireland, Confessor
 
HE flourished about the beginning of the sixth century, and is not to be confounded with Jarlath, archbishop of Armagh, who was a disciple of St. Patrick, an Ulsterman, and the son of Trien. Our St. Jarlath was a Connaughtman, of the family of Cormac, and was educated from his youth under Binen or Benignus, archbishop of Armagh, by whom he was promoted to holy orders. Leaving this great master, he retired to Cluainfois, (so called from cluain, a retreat or a lurking place, and fos, a dwelling, or fois, leisure,) a solitary place in Conmacne, now in the county of Galway, near Tuam. Here he founded a monastery which retained this name, and is now a chapel within the parish of Tuam. In this monastery St. Jarlath opened a famous school, to which numbers flocked for education in piety and learning, among whom the great St. Brendan, abbot of Clonfert, and St. Colman, first bishop of Cluain-uamha, or Cloyne, laid the foundation of their eminent virtue under the discipline of St. Jarlath. Our saint was called from this employment to be consecrated first bishop of Tuam, anciently called Tuaim-da-Gualan, which church was afterwards dedicated in his memory, and called Tempull-Jarlaith, or Jarlaith’s church. He died full of days on the 26th of December, about the year 540. His bones were afterwards placed in a silver shrine, and deposited in a church at Tuam, called from thence Tempull-na-scrin, that is, church of the shrine. His chief festival was kept at Tuam on the 6th of June, the day of the translation of his relics.  1
  Some bishops of this see were styled metropolitans, and archbishops of Connaught. At length it was regularly erected into an archbishopric, with the concession of a pall in 1152. Two other sees were afterwards united to this of Tuam, first, that of Enaghdune, reduced to a parish under Tuam, by a union of the sees in the fourteenth century; and second, that of Mayo, founded by St. Gerald, an English-Saxon, who accompanied St. Colman from Lindisfarne into Ireland. St. Colman erected a monastery at Mayo for his English-Saxon followers, called from them Mayo-na-Sasson, i. e. Mayo of the Saxons. St. Gerald, who is honoured on the 13th of March, enlarged this monastery, and erected it into a bishopric about the year 685. (See Colgan, Act. p. 599.) The see of Mayo was united to Tuam in 1560. On St. Jarlath, see Ware, p. 602; Usher’s Prim. p. 994; Colgan in MSS.  2
 
 
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