Bishop (Seventh Century)
+ Flannán mac Toirrdelbaig was the son of an Irish chieftan.
+ As a young man, he became a monk in a small but important monastery in Killaloe. Known as a great preacher, it is recorded that he later became the community’s abbot.
+ During a pilgrimage to Rome, Pope John IV consecrated him as the first bishop of Killaloe. As a missionary-bishop, he preached throughout the Hebrides.
+ Saint Flannan died in the seventh century and devotion to him was officially confirmed by Pope Leo XIII in 1902. He is honored as the patron saint of Killaloe and his commemoration is included in the liturgical calendar for Ireland.
For prayer and reflection
O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.
Today is the day on which the Church formerly celebrated a special feast in honor of “the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” Originally an alternate feast of the Annunciation (which typically falls during Lent), this feast came to honor Our Lady’s hope-filled expectation of the birth of Jesus in the days preceding Christmas.
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that we, who are weighed down from of old
by slavery beneath the yoke of sin,
may be set free by the newness
of the long-awaited Nativity
of your Only Begotten Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal—Collect for December 18)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.