Máel Ruba m Elganaig of Applecross

Other names

Máel Ruba m. Eoganaig (POR); Maelrubha; Maelrubba, Malrubius (DF x 2).

Introduction

The movements of this saint are relatively well documented in the Irish record: AU 671.5 Mail Rubai in Britanniam nauigat and AU 673.5 Mail Rubai fundauit Apor Croosan. His link with Bangor is made explicit in the Martyrology of Tallaght - Maele Rubi ab Bennchair, but later genealogical links with Comgall of Bangor (d. AU 602) are chronologically implausible (he is said to be the son of Comgall's sister). He is one of only five saints explicitly linked with Scotland (Alba) in Félire Oengusa and evidence of his cult is widespread, both in the west of Scotland (Applecross in Rosshire, Gairloch, Kintyre, Islay, Skye, Arisaig) and the east (Dingwall and, Lairg in Sutherland, Keith in Banffshire, Crail in Fife) The different Scottish date for the celebration of Mael Ruba in calendars (though not fairs - see Watson 1926 p 289) can be explained by confusion with Rufinus, a martyr from Capua, whose feast in on Aug 27. It might also explain why in the Scottish record Mael Ruba is himself a martyr, a fact not suggested by the Irish record. He is said in the Aberdeen Breviary and in some of the Scottish calendars (Dempster, Camerarius, Adam King) to have been killed by Norse or Danes, though such attacks are not known from such an early date. Fairs commemorating Mael Ruba include Summareve's Fair in Keith, Banffshire, and Féill Ma-Ruibhe which was held at Contin, nr Strathpeffer. There were two markets at Amulree (from Ath Maol Ruibhe) in Perthshire, one on the first Tuesday and Wednesday of May (Watson 1926, 289). ‘St Maelrubha was, in the matter of fairs, the most popular Celtic saint in Scotland.’ Paul 1918, 163 His cult is described in Reeves 1860. Later insights include the possibility that his cult was taken up by the Cenél Loairn (Clancy 2002 p 415-6). See also Macquarrie 2012.

Gender

Male

Associated places

Applecross, Bangor etc

Obituary

AU 722.1 Mael Rubai i nApur Chroson anno .lxxx.etatis

Genealogies

He is assigned to the Cenel nEogain in CGSH: Mael Rubae m. Elganaig m. Gairb m. Oirballaig m. Con Bairend m. Cremthaind m. Binnig m. Eogain m. Neill Noigiallaig (Rec. Mai. 17). In the Tract on the Mothers of the saints 722.86 he is nephew of Comgall m. Sétna of Bangor: Subthain ingen Setna siur Chomgaill mathair Mael Rubae m. Elganaig.

Territory or Ethnicity (broad)

Gaelic

Territory or Ethnicity (refined)

N. Uí Néill

Related Saints

Belongs to the group Máel Ruba (ns) (certain)

Sometimes confused with Rufus of Capua, martyr (certain)

Mael Ruba is sometimes commemorated on August 27, which is probably due to confusion with Rufus (the name Mael Ruba is Latinized as Rufinus)

Feast days

Day of Year

April 21

Calendar

Martyrology of Oengus the Culdee

Source code

Mart. O

Source title

Martyrology of Oengus the Culdee

Editors

Stokes, Whitley

Year

1905

Notes

Full title is Félire Óengusso Céli Dé, The Martyrology of Oengus the Culdee, critically edited from Ten Manuscripts, with a Preface, Translation, Notes and Indices.

Quote from source

I n-Albain co nglaini iar lécud cech subai, luid úainn cona máthair ar mbráthair Mael-rubai. In Scotland with purity, after leaving every happiness, our brother Mael-rubae went from us with his mother.

Notes

Mart. O, notes in Laud Mael rubai ie the feast of Mael-rubai's obit, and of the kindred of Eogan was he, but his church is in Scotland (ind Albain atá a chell), and this is the feast of his obit. His mother, now, was Subthan daughter of Comgall, or daughter of Setna; and in Applecross is his church (i n-Apur crosen a chell).

Day of Year

April 21

Calendar

Martyrology of Tallaght

Source code

Mart.T

Source title

Martyrology of Tallaght

Editors

Best, R. I. and Lawlor, H. J.

Year

1931

Notes

From the Book of Lesinter and MS 5100-4 in the Royal Library, Brussels.

Quote from source

Maele Rubi ab Bennchair.

Day of Year

April 21

Calendar

Martyrology of Gorman

Source code

Mart. G

Source title

Martyrology of Gorman

Editors

Stokes, Whitley

Year

1895

Notes

Full title is Félire Húi Gormáin, The Martyrology of Gorman edited from a manuscript in the Royal library, Brussels, with a preface, translation, notes and indices. It is published by the Henry Bradshaw Society.

Quote from source

Maelruba naem gloss: abb Benncair, do Chenel Eogain dosidhe, & robhendaigh i n-Apur Crossan i n-Albain. and he blessed (a church) in Applecross

Day of Year

April 21

Calendar

The Martyrology of Donegal

Source code

Mart. Do.

Source title

The Martyrology of Donegal

Editors

Todd, J. H.

Year

1864

Notes

Other author to be specified.

Quote from source

Maelrubha, mac Ealganaigh, do chenel Eogain mic Neill, abb Bennchair, acus ro bennaigh fos in Albain .i. in Apur Crossan, A D 721. He was 80 years of age when he resigned his spirit. Suaibhseach was the name of his mother; or Subhthan, daughter of Sedna, the sister of Comhgall, was his mother.

Day of Year

August 27

Calendar

Scottish Entries in the Martyrology of Aberdeen

Source code

Mart. Ab.

Source title

Scottish Entries in the Martyrology of Aberdeen

Editors

Forbes, A. P.

Secondary Title

Kalendar of Scottish Saints

Pages

125-137

Year

1872

Notes

Mart. Ab. Scottish Entries in the Martyrology of Aberdeen, in Forbes 1872, 125-137

Quote from source

In Scotia Sancti Malrubij martyris: sepultus apud Appilhorss Rossensis dyocesis. Cuius tanto sperabatur in partibus illis beatitudo in patria quanto eiusdem miranda apud illam indomitam gentem comprobatur probitas et patiencia.

Day of Year

August 27

Calendar

Kalendarium Breviarii Aberdonensis

Source code

K. Brev. Ab.

Source title

Kalendarium Breviarii Aberdonensis

Editors

Forbes, A. P.

Secondary Title

Kalendar of Scottish Saints

Pages

111-124

Year

1872

Notes

Kal. Brev. Ab. Kalendarium Breviarii Aberdonensis, in Forbes 1872, 111-124

Quote from source

Malrubii ab.

Notes

'rupho' is on this day too.

Day of Year

August 27

Calendar

Calendar of Adam King

Source code

Adam King

Author

Adam King

Source title

Calendar of Adam King

Editors

A.P.Forbes

Secondary Title

Kalendar of Scottish Saints

Pages

141-171

Year

1872

Quote from source

S Malrube heremeit and mart. be ye daneis at marne in scot. vnder king malcolme 2. 1024.

Day of Year

April 21

Calendar

Glenorchy Psalter, BL Egerton 2899

Source code

Glenorchy psalter

Source title

Glenorchy Psalter, BL Egerton 2899

Notes

Glenorchy psalter The Glenorchy Psalter (British Library, Egerton 2899)

Quote from source

S. Molroue

Notes

This is an addition in a later hand

Day of Year

August 27

Calendar

‘Dean Brown’s Book of Hours’

Source code

K. Dean Brown

Author

McRoberts, D

Source title

‘Dean Brown’s Book of Hours’

Journal

Innes Review vol xix, 2

Volume

xix

Year

1968

Notes

This was written for James Brown, Dean of Aberdeen in the last decade of the fifteenth century. D. McRoberts, D., ‘Dean Brown’s Book of Hours’ in Innes Review vol. xix, 2, 1968.

Quote from source

Rufus m. Makubij abb.

Notes

Dean Brown has both Rufus and Mael Ruba on this day.