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Ronan, St.


Missionary bishop in Brittany c. seventh century. The legend that an Irish saint, called Ronan (Rumon or Ruan), labored and died in Brittany may have its origin in the cult of his relics there. He is possibly to be identified

with one of the many saints of that name, about whom practically no historical details survive and who are mentioned in the Irish martyrologies, e.g., Ronan of Lough Derg on the Shannon (January 13); Bishop Ronan of Lismore, County Waterford, whose obituary remains in doubt in spite of the effort of the Annals of Inisfallen to provide him with one at the year 763 (February9); Ronan son of Fergus (April 8); Ronan of County Louth (April 30); Ronan of Lann Ronain in County Down (May 22); Ronan son of Máge (July 15); Ronan Find son of Berach of Druminiskin, County Louth (November 18); and Ronan Find son of Aíd of Achad Farcha in County Meath (December 23). The most famous of these was the Ronan son of Berach, who died 661 or 664, for his relics were carefully preserved in Ireland, and it is known also that his cult spread abroad, perhaps even as far as Brittany. The various feasts in Ireland and Brittany present a great but not insurmountable difficulty against identification, and it may well be asked what connection, if any, had these Ronans with the homonym venerated in Scotland under the form of the name Mo-Rónóc. The efforts of early glossators and some modern scholars at differentiating and identifying have been more ingenious than enlightening.

Feast: June 1.

Bibliography: Rónán of Druminiskin. Vita, ed. a. poncelet in Analecta Bollandiana 17 (1898) 161166, has little historical value but became the basis for the literary tradition of the saint. "Fledh Dúin na nGéd," ed. c. marstrander, Videnskabsselskabets skrifter, II Hist-Filos. Klasse, 1909, No. 6 (Oslo 1910). j. g. o'keefe, ed., Buile uibhne (Dublin 1952), where he is identified with Rónán of Lann Rónáin. Rónán of Brittany. Vita, tr. into Fr. by f. plaine in Bulletin de la Société archéologique de la Finistère 16 (1889) 263318, where he is also called Renan but this vita is fictitious. Rónán (or Rumon) of Tavistock in Devon. Vita, ed. p. grosjean in Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953) 359375, based almost entirely on that of Rónán of Brittany. Literature. p. grosjean, op. cit. l. gougaud, Les Saints irlandais hors d'lrlande étudiés dans le culte et dans la dévotion traditionnelle (Louvain 1936) 159166. a. p. forbes, Kalendars of Scottish Saints (Edinburgh 1872) 441442. j. gammack, A Dictionary of Christian Biography, ed. w. smith and h. wace, 4v. (London 187787) 4:554. l. bieler, in Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d new ed. Freiburg 195765) 9:38. r. e. doise, Saint Ronan de Locronan (Châteaulin 1973).

[c. mcgrath]

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