St. Mel, St. Patrick, St. Brigid and Ardagh

The Memoir of Tirechan in the Book of Armagh and the Tripartite Life place Patrick in Ardagh, the birthplace of Christianity in the locality. St. Patrick arrived around 435 requesting a site for a monastery from King Maine and placed his nephew St. Mel in charge.
The ruins of the first St. Mel's Cathedral are in the village where his remains are said to be buried. His crozier was found near the ruins and was restored and displayed in the diocesan museum at the back of St. Mel's Cathedral, Longford. Unfortunately this was badly damaged in the fire on Christmas Day 2009. We have a video showing it before the damage.
Mel is said to have ordained St. Brigid as a Bishop here. There are a number of writings that say that Brigid's first convent was in Ardagh. There is a St. Brigid's Well in Ardagh that is visited every 1st February. We have a St. Brigid's Cross Workshop every year.
There is a story about St. Lupita, aunt of St. Mel, and St. Mel sharing the same abode with tongues wagging in the neighbourhood. When St. Patrick came to investigate, St. Mel performed a miracle by fishing in a field and St. Lupita carried hot coals in her mantle.
There are also references to St. Brigid carrying hot coals when establishing her holy well. Another states carrying the hot coals was a penance given to a local woman for disrespecting St. Brigid.
An ancient mythological connection is that Brigit was daughter of the Dagda and half sister to Midir.

St. Mel's Cathedral

St. Brigid's Well

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