Saint of the day 22nd March 2022, we celebrate Saint Darerca

*SAINT OF THE DAY*Feast Day: March 22*St.Darerca*The sister of St. Patrick.

She was reported to have borne fifteen sons, ten of whom became bishops throughout Ireland.Darerca was at least twice married. Among her husbands, according to histories in Brittany, she was the second wife of Conan Meriadoc and the mother of his eldest son, Gradlon Mawr who became Gradlon the Great, King of Brittany.Darerca’s second husband, Chonas the Briton, founded the church of Both-chonais, now Binnion, Parish of Clonmany, in the barony of Inishowen, County Donegal. She had children by both husbands, some say seventeen sons, all of whom, according to Colgan, became bishops. (According to Breton history at least one became King of Brittany, rather than serve the church as a Bishop.)

From the “Tripartite Life of Saint Patrick” it is evident that there were four sons of Darerca by Chonas, namely four bishops, Saint Mel of Ardagh, Saint Rioc of Inisboffin, Saint Muinis of Forgney, County Longford, and Saint Maelchu. It is well to note that another Saint Muinis, son of Gollit, is described as of Tedel in Ara-cliath.Darerca had two daughters, Saint Eiche of Kilglass and Saint Lalloc of Senlis. Her first husband was Restitutus the Lombard, after whose death she married Chonas the Briton. By Restitutus she was mother of Saint Sechnall of Dunshaughlin; Saint Nectan of Killunche, and of Fennor (near Slane); of Saint Auxilius of Killossey (near Naas, County Kildare); of Saint Diarmaid of Druim-corcortri (near Navan); of Dabonna, Mogornon, Drioc, Luguat, and Coemed Maccu Baird (the Lombard) of Cloonshaneville, near Frenchpark, County Roscommon.

Four other sons are assigned her by old Irish writers, namely Saint Crummin of Lecua, Saint Miduu, Saint Carantoc, and Saint Maceaith. The latter is identical with Liamania, according to Colgan, but must not be confounded with Saint Monennia, or Darerca, whose feast is on 6 July.Saint Darerca is honoured on 22 March, and is patroness of Valentia Island.

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