Rev. Alban Butler (171173). Volume IX: September. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.
St. Ultan, Bishop in Ireland
[First Bishop of Ardbraccan in Meath,1 in Ireland.] AMONGST the many eminent virtues of this saint, Colgan mentions his extensive charity in providing for all the foundling children in Ireland. He died in 656. See Colgan MSS. ad 4 Sept.
Note 1. There were formerly many episcopal sees in Meath; as Clonard, Duleek, Kells, Trim, Dunshaughlin, Ardbraccan, Slane, and Foure, besides others of less note; all which, except Duleek and Kells, were consolidated, and their common see fixed at Clonard before the year 1152, when the divisions of the bishoprics of Ireland were made by Cardinal Paparo, legate from Pope Eugenius III. The two sees of Duleek and Kells afterwards submitted, and all are ever since united in the bishopric of Meath. Clonard (called Cluain-Irard) was founded in 520 by St. Finian, who is honoured on the 12th of December. Duleek (called Daimhliag) by St. Cianan or Kenan, who is honoured on the 24th of November. Kells or Kenlis (called also Cennanas) was anciently a strong city, where St. Columb-kille founded a monastery in 550. Most ancient writers assert that St. Cuthbert, bishop of Lindisfarne, who is honoured on the 20th of March, was a native of Kells; as appears from his Life kept in the Cottonian library, sub Vitell. D. XIV. 8. Trim was founded by St. Luman, honoured on the 17th of February; and Dunshaughlin by St. Secundin (called Seachnal,) honoured on the 27th of November, both nephews to St. Patrick. Ardbraccan, by St. Ultan; Slane, by St. Erc, who died in 513. Foure (called Fobhar) was an abbey founded by St. Fechin, who died of a pestilence which raged in Ireland in 664, or rather in 665; for that great pestilence began in May, 664, and St. Fechin died the 20th of January, the day on which he is honoured. The first bishop of Foure was St. Suarlech, who died on the 27th of March, 745; he had only one successor in the episcopal character, after whose death Foure was again reduced to an abbey. See Colgan, Act. SS. Ind. Chron. Wares Bishops, &c. [back]