Yesterday, 24 March, was the feast of Saint Macartan, patron of the Diocese of Clogher. To mark the feast, Bishop Larry Duffy of Clogher said Mass in the Cathedral of Saint Macartan, Monaghan, yesterday evening. In his homily, Bishop Duffy spoke of how the Covid-19 virus has rapidly entered our world and affected our lives.
The Bishop said, “To stop the virus, we are called upon to be responsible and to do our civic duty; to wash our hands often; no shaking of hands; keep two meters away from the nearest person. So much of what is demanded is new and strange to us.
“And yet, our sacrifices are small when viewed against what public health workers and carers have to do. They are in the front line. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude. I thank our priests and deacon for their continued service in very different and new circumstances.”
Emphasising the relevance of Saint Macartan for the current crisis, Bishop Duffy said, “Today, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Macartan – the patron saint of the Diocese of Clogher. While this man lived many centuries ago, he has much to teach us at this time. Macartan is often referred to as Saint Patrick’s ‘strong man’. This faithful and dedicated bishop supported Saint Patrick, sometimes carrying him on his back over difficult terrain.
“Saint Macartan calls on us at this time to care for and carry the aged, weak and vulnerable.”
He continued, “Jesus, in the Gospel this evening, invites is to be the light of the world by our faith and love. Many groups, including Clogher don Óige, football clubs and community groups in general, have shone that light by being available to help the isolated and vulnerable.
“A light has been lit in countless churches by the many people who have prayed silently and lit a candle. Letters received or phone calls made to the housebound or aged have lightened up their darkness. So many young people delivering shopping or dropping a note have lit up the lives of their grandparents. I encourage you all to keep up this mission of love.”
In conclusion, Bishop Duffy said, “None of us know when this virus will pass. But what we do know is that Christ in His love healed the sick and died for sinners – for all of us. We place our trust in Him who is with us in this anxious and worrying time.
“Lord, give us your peace.
Lord, show us your love.
Saint Macartan, pray for us!”
To read the full homily click here.