Open main menu


O'GORMAN, MAELMUIRE (d. 1181), called, according to Colgan, Marianus Gorman, and by the 'Four Masters' Maelmuire O'Dunian, martyrologist, was abbot of Cnoc na Seangan, or Pismire Hill, near the town of Louth. This place was afterwards known as Cnoc na n Apstal, or the Hill of the Apostles, from the time of the consecration of the church there by Archbishop Malachy Morgan [q. v.], when it was dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. It was an establishment for Augustinian canons, the founders being Donnchadh O'Carroll, chief of Oriel, and Edan O'Caellaighe, bishop of Clogher. Marianus is termed in the 'Martyrology of Donegal' abbot of Louth. Ware, Harris, and Archdall believed the abbey of Louth to be distinct from the abbey of Cnoc na Seangan; but in that case two monasteries, both for Augustinian canons, and both founded by the same prince and bishop, must have existed within a few perches of each other. This seems highly improbable, and we may assume with confidence that they are identical.

Marianus is the author of a 'Martyrology' composed during the reign of Roderic O'Connor [q. v.], king of Ireland, and between 1156 and 1173, while Gilla mac Liag or Gelasius was archbishop of Armagh. This work was unknown in Ireland except by name until 1847, when the Rev. Matthew Kelly of Maynooth procured a copy of the only known manuscript preserved in the Royal Library at Brussels. Two years after, the Rev. Dr. Todd obtained a loan of this and other manuscripts from the Belgian government, and had a copy of it made by Eugene O'Curry. The 'Martyrology,' which has never been published, is now about to be brought out by the Henry Bradshaw Society, under the editorship of Mr. Whitley Stokes, D.C.L. It is a poem in the Irish language, and consists of 2,780 lines in the rather rare and difficult metre known as 'Rinnard,' in which the' Calendar of Œngus Ceile Dé' is also composed. The poem is arranged in months, and has a stanza for every day in the year, which contains the names of those saints whose festivals fall on that day. There are also interlined and marginal glosses relating to the situation of the churches belonging to the saints mentioned when those saints are Irish, for Marianus does not confine himself to native saints. These glosses or scholia add much to its value as an historical authority. The preface informs us that it was taken largely from the 'Martyrology' of Tallaght. O'Clery made great use of it in the compilation of the 'Martyrology of Donegal,' which was published in 1864 under the editorship of Bishop Reeves and the Rev. Dr. Todd. All the names given in that work without a local designation are from Marianus, as well as those which have short local notices; of these last many, if not all, are taken from the scholia.

Marianus tells us he was led to undertake the work first by the hope of thereby securing entrance into the kingdom of heaven for himself as well as for every one who should make a practice of chanting it; in the second place he wished to supply the names of many saints, Irish and foreign, who were omitted from the 'Calendar of Œngus,' saints for whom the church had ordained festivals or prescribed masses; and, lastly, in order to correct the 'Calendar of Œngus,' in which days of commemoration were assigned to many different from those appointed by the church at that time. He died in 1181. His day in the 'Martyrology of Donegal' is 3 July.

[Colgan's Act. SS. p. 737; Trias Thaum. p. 305; Annals of the Four Masters, iii. 57; Ware's Antiquities, chap, xxvi., and Bishops of Louth and Clogher at Edan; Martyrology of Donegal, Pref. p. xvii; Lanigan's Eccles. Hist. iv. 129, 131; O'Curry's MS. Materials, pp. 361, 362.]

T. O.