St Oengus the Culdee

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Monk and writer. Oengus was the author of the earliest Irish Martyrology, called the Felire. Born of a royal Ulster family, he was educated at the monastery of Clonenagh (Co Laois). He lived as a hermit at Disertbeagh where he practised a life of austerity, reading the psalter daily while submersed in cold water, fasting and many genuflections.

In later life he joined the monastery of Tallacht near Dublin. He didn't tell anyone who he was and was given the most menial tasks to perform. Eventually the abbot recognised him when he saw him teaching a poor student.

He was encouraged to complete his Martyrology and is reputed to have become a bishop before his death in 824.

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