Friday, May 6, 2011
The Fahan Mura Cross
Born in Co. Donegal, Ireland, about 550. He was appointed Abbot of Fahan by St. Columba. The monastery was anciently known as Othan Mor, but after the death of our saint was called Fahan Mura. He was highly esteemed by Hugh, Head King of Ireland, whose obit is chronicled in 607. Numerous legends are told of Mura; he wrote many works, including chronicles and a rhymed life of St. Columba, which is quoted in the Martyrology of Donegal. He is regarded as the special patron saint of the O'Neill clan, being sixth in descent from the founder, whose name survives in Innishowen (Inis Eoghan). His death occurred about 645, and his feast is observed on 12 March. Among his relics still preserved are his crozier (Bachall Mura), now in the National Museum, Dublin, and his bell-shrine, now in the Wallace Collection, London. In the ruined church of St. Mura at Fahan is a beautiful Irish cross, and not far off is St. Mura's Well.
Fahan Mura Cross as carved by James E. Boyle of the Rams Horn Studio
Fahan (Irish: Fathain)(pronounced fawn) is a district of Inishowen, in County Donegal, located five kilometres south of Buncrana. In Irish, Fahan is named after its patron saint, St. Mura, first abbot and patron saint of Fahan, an early Christian monastery. The Fahan Mura Cross is located in a graveyard of a ruined church, beside the road from Letterkenny to Buncarna, and was the site of a monastery founded by St. Colmcille for his disciple St. Mura. This early 7th century cross-slab is 6 1/2 feet and demonstrates a close connection with Scotland, where the shape is more common.
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