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Saint Cellach
Saint Cellach

Saint Cellach

Feast Day
Apr 01, 2013
Reformers, Ireland
<p>St. Cellach was the son of Aed, who had been Abbott of Armagh and the successor of St. Patrick.&nbsp; At that time, the church had monopolized the office of Abbot of Armagh since 966.&nbsp; This had been the case, and with this type of secularism to such an extent, that it made church reform necessary.&nbsp; Even St. Bernard of Clairvaux commented that it was beyond repair.&nbsp; The problem was that it had become a hereditarily enriched laicized ecclesiastical dynasty, handing it down from one family member to the other.</p> <p>St. Cellach became the Archbishop of Armagh, and was an important contributor to the reform of the Irish Church in the twelfth century.&nbsp; Although he was a laicized member of the ecclesiastical dynasty, he took holy vows and gained Priestly ordination.&nbsp; This put an end to the anomalous state of affairs, in effect since 966 where the supreme head of the Irish Church had been a layman.&nbsp; Due to this, in the Synod of Raith Bressail in 1111, a Diocesan structure for Ireland was established.&nbsp; He became the first Metropolitan Primate of all of Ireland. &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>St. Cellach attended that Synod, and played an important role.&nbsp; This synod was presided by Gilla Espaic, as the Papal Legate and was attended by fifty Bishops, three hundred Priests, and over three thousand laymen.&nbsp; It marked the beginning of the transition of the Irish Church from a Monastic Church, to a Diocesan and Parish based Church.&nbsp; It established two metropolitan Provinces, with Archbishoprics at Armagh and Cashel.&nbsp; Prominence was given to Armagh, making St. Cellach the Primate of the Church of Ireland.&nbsp; Each Province consisted of twelve territorial Dioceses.&nbsp; The See of Dublin was not included, as Dublin had been under the primacy from Canterbury.&nbsp; In 1129 on a visit to Munster, St. Cellach died and was buried in Lismore. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>Practical Take Away&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p>St. Cellach was the Archbishop of Armagh.&nbsp; He was noted for his major role in the reform in the Church in Ireland.&nbsp; He attended a Synod in 1111, with a Papal Legate, Fifty-Bishops, over 300 Priests, and thousands of laymen.&nbsp; The synod was convened to put an end to the way the Church of Ireland was being managed.&nbsp; It was operated as a Monastic Church, and this synod established Ireland as being operated with Dioceses and a Parish based Church.&nbsp; There were two Archbishoprics, one at Armagh and the other at Cashel.&nbsp; St. Cellach is responsible and venerated as the Saint that brought the Church in Ireland into a Diocesan, Parish Based Church, from a Monastic run Church. &nbsp;</p>