Fáelán, brother of Fursu

Introduction

This Fáelan, brother of Fursu, is described by Bede (HE iii.19). Fursu was an Irishman who established a monastery among the East Angles. He entrusted the monastery to his brother Fáelán when he left to become a hermit with another brother, Ultan. AU records Fursu's death in 649, 656 and 661, the latter two add. in H2 but there is no record of Fáelán. They are mentioned together in MT: Failani martiris fratris Fursu. With his other brother, Ultán, Fáelan founded a church at Fosses in Belgium. Around 655, near Nivelles in Brabant, he was beheaded by ‘certain satellites of the devil’ (Forbes 1872, 346; Ó Riain, Dictionary, 303). His remains were taken first to Nivelles and then to Fosses, which became the centre of a his cult. There is a church dedicated to him in Aachen, Germany (Ó Riain, Dictionary, 303) Note that a non-specific Fáelán is commemorated on the 16th Jan, the feast-day of Fursu; this is the feast of the finding of Fáelán’s relics in Fosses and Aachen (Ó Riain, Dictionary, 304).

Associated places

East Anglia; Fosses, Belgium; Nivelles, Belgium; Aachen, Germany.

Genealogies

Fursu, his brother, is given two differing genealogies in CGSH, one assigning him to the Ulaid, another to the Eoganachta (Rec. Mai. 157.1.2, Mart. Do., Jan 16) Fursu is assigned to the Dal mBuáin through his mother, a branch of the Dál nAraide who had lands in Co. Down (mothers of the ss, 722.92). His mother is also said to be either a daughter of a king of Connacht or of Aed Find (Mart. Do., Jan 16; mothers of the ss, 722.33).

Related Saints

Belongs to the group Fáelán, Fillan (ns)

Related Personal Names

Name

Fáelán

Feast days

Day of Year

Jan 16

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

Sancti Faelani

Notes

This is not the usual day for this saint, but since it is the day of his brother (Dormitorio Fursei) it is likely that this non-specific Fáelán is our saint.

Day of Year

Jan 16

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

Fursa, Foillan… gloss on Fursa: abb, do Chonaillibh Murtemne no gloss on Foillan

Day of Year

Jan 16

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

Fáillén

Day of Year

Oct 31

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

Failani martiris fratris Fursu

Day of Year

Oct 31

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

brathair Fursa Foelan 'Fursa's brother Fáelán' gloss: abb. rofulaing-sidhe martra isin fFrainc 'an abbot. He suffered martyrdom in France'

Day of Year

Oct 31

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

Faolán, abb, bráthair Fursa. Ise ro fulaing martra isin Fraingc 'Faelan, abbot, brother of Fursa. It was he that suffered martyrdom in France.'