May 13

St. Abban

Saint Abban

Early Life

What is known about Saint Abbán is gleaned from the documents that werewritten about him.

Only three documents about Saint Abbán were said to have survived torecent times, two written in Latin and one in Irish. Althoughincomplete, they tell the story of Saint Abbán.

There are numerous accounts of who this man could have been. Theseaccounts differ greatly and it is not known for sure what Saint Abbán’san entry could have been.

One thing is certain: Saint Abbán was of Irish descent. Some of hisbiographies state that he was of the Uí Chormaic Irish clan, sometimescalled the Moccu Chormaic clan.

He was born Circa 570. His father was said to have been Laignech orLeinsterman. He came from a long line of distinguished noble families.

Other documents however claim that his father was Cormac, prince ofLeinster. This version claimed Saint Abbán’s mother was Mílla, siblingof Saint Ibar.

There is no detail about how Saint Abbán lived his early years. Somedocuments state that he was set to be heir to the throne of Leinster. Hewas however more interested in pursuing his spiritual needs and declinedthe offer.

Dedication and Devotion

Saint Abbán was a devoted young man. He knew he was destined for greatacts in his church. He also performed several miracles that convincedhis father that he was meant for great acts.

Saint Abbán was sent to live with his mother’s brother, Saint Ibar whowas at that time, Bishop. Together, they traveled to Rome to minister tothe people.

It is said that Saint Abbán wielded such a great power that he used themin chasing off dangers from men, monsters, and animals. In variousdocuments, it is said that Saint Abban also wielded power of the Seasand Rivers.

Saint Abbán throughout his biographies was associated with varioussaints like Saints Finnisn and Saints Brendan. He was also placed inplaces like Ireland where he was said to have preached to the people.

Saint Abbán was said to have planted Churches after returning from Romefor the second time. He was said to have pioneered several Churches likethe Cell Ailbe, Camross, and a monastery at County Carlow.


Some writers argue that Abingdon, a town near Oxford, adopted the namein reverence to Saint Abbán. They reckon that this was because he hadpreached to the King and the people at that time and converted them toChristianity.

Saint Abbán is associated with various religious happenings. However,probably due to his existence quite earlier on and the absence ofdocumentation, his works are not known for sure.

Saint Abbán was said to have established many chapels in places that arenow known as County Wexford and Ferns.

He founded a convent Magheranoidhe, modern-day Adamstown. He was alsosaid to have founded a monastery and served as Abbot in Leinster untilhis death.

What is known however is that this missionary and prince who had wieldedso much power had played an important role in the early Church.

Death and Canonization

Saint Abban died on the 16th of March, 620 A.D. He passed away in modernWexford, Ireland.

Saint Abbán was canonized Pre-Congregation. He is commemorated on the16th of March and the 27th of October.

5 Interesting Facts About Saint Abban

  1. Did you know that modern-day Adamstown was once called Abbanstown
    after Saint Abbán?
  2. Did you know that Saint Abbán’s sister was said to have been Saint
  3. Did you know that Saint Abbán was said to have founded a church in
    Ballyvourney? It is said that he bequeathed it to his sister.
  4. Did you know that Sainr Abbán was said to be buried next to the
    convent in Ballyvourney?
  5. Did you know that Saint Abban is the patron Saint of Mag Arnaide?