Jarlath of Tuam

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Revision as of 08:31, February 26, 2011

Saint Jarlath of Tuam (c. 445-c. 550) (or Iarlaith, Hierlath, Iarfhlaith) was Tuam's first bishop, and a disciple of Saint Enda. He founded a monastery in Tuam and was both abbot and bishop there. His feast day is celebrated on June 6, the date on which his relics were moved to a church built in his honor adjoining the cathedral of Tuam.

Jarlath came from a wealthy family. The second syllable of his name, fhlaith, means lord; the meaning of the first syllable is unknown. He studied under St. Enda at Arran around 495. He was a renowned scholar, founding a college attached to the monastery at Cluain Fois (now Cloonfush). According to the writings of Saint Brendan of Clonfert, when St. Jarlath's chariot wheel broke, it showed him the place at which he would meet his death; he founded his monastic community there. The town of Tuam still uses the chariot wheel as its symbol.

His students at the monastic college included Saint Brendan of Ardfert (or Clonard) and Saint Colman of Cloyne. Jarlath died peacefully, although accounts differ between 540 and 550 for the year of his death.

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