Saint Benan

Saint Benan

Benan ( _la. Benignus, "the doer of good", _ga. Benen) was reputedly the first and most favoured apostle of the national saint of Ireland, St. Patrick.

Benan was an Irish boy from Cashel district and was adopted by St. Patrick. Benen is described as Patrick's psalm-singer, and may also have at first acted as his interpreter. In Cavan, he established a monastery on Drom Benen (hill of Benan), today's Drumbannon, and also in "cill benen" (church of Benan), today's Kilbonane, West Cork.

Benan is known as the second bishop of Armagh, succeeding Patrick in that office from 458 to 468.

In Easter 433, Patrick clashed with king Laoghaire at Tara over religion, and legend has it that, a trial by fire was proposed. A pagan druid and Benignus were tied inside a burning timber building, the former was reduced to ash while Benignus was untouched, at this turning point Christian teaching was established. ['The Legend of Tara' by Elizabeth Hickey 1969]

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