Saint Benignus of Armagh

Saint Benignus of Armagh

Born: Unknown, Ireland
Died: 467
Feast Day: 9th November
Patron Saint:
Also known As: Benignus of Ireland, Benen of….

Saint Benignus date of birth is unknown, but it is known that he was the son of Sesenen and born in County Meath, Ireland.  He was baptised by St Patrick along with his father not long after St Patrick first arrived in Ireland and became his assistant Bishop in the See of Armagh in 450.  He was a gentle and lovable man which lead to him being called Benen – and in turn Benignus. He travelled with Patrick helping with missionary and ministry and became known as “Patrick’s psalm-singer”, drawing thousands to Christ with his singing voice.  He is said to have evangalised the Provinces of Clare, Kerry, and Connaught.

Benignus is said to have assisted in writing the Senchus Mor (Irish code of law), also contributing to the “Psalter of Cashel” and the “Book of Rights”.  He was also present at the synod when “the See of the Apostle Peter” was recognised.  He succeeded Saint Patrick as Bishop of Ireland until his death in 467 of natural causes.

His loyalty to the Church was unwavering, even going through an alleged “Trial by Fire” where he and a pagan were tied inside a burning timber building; the pagan perished, and he was said to be untouched.  This won for him the honour to prove that religion was the right way to go for their country, and he and St. Patrick converted the entire region.