samedi 18 avril 2015

Saint LASÉRIAN (LAISREN, MOLAISSE), ermite, abbé et évêque

Saint Lasérian

évêque de Leighlin en Irlande ( 639)

Lasérian, Laisren, Molaisse ou Lamliss.

Né en Irlande et élevé en Écosse, il vécut comme un ermite sur l'île d'Aran où se trouve une grotte portant son nom. Il se rendit en pèlerinage à Rome puis entra au monastère de Leighlin, devint abbé et évêque. Il aurait ajusté la date de Pâques avec celle préconisée par Rome. Il aurait rapporté les reliques de saint Aidan de Ferns et aurait été nommé légat du Pape en Irlande par Honorius I. Il est vénéré à Inishmurray et à Leighlin, il reste une source et une croix portant son nom à l'emplacement de l'abbaye.

À Leighlin en Irlande, l’an 639, saint Lasérian ou Molaise, qui fit accepter pacifiquement dans l’île la manière romaine de calculer la date de Pâques.

Martyrologe romain

April 18

St. Laserian, Called Molaisse, 

Bishop of Leighlin, in Ireland

LASERIAN was son of Cairel and Blitha, persons of great distinction, who intrusted his education, from his infancy, to the Abbot St. Murin. He afterwards travelled to Rome in the days of Pope Gregory the Great, by whom he is said to have been ordained priest. Soon after his return to Ireland, he visited Leighlin, a place situated a mile and a half westward of the river Barrow, where St. Goban was then abbot, who, resigning to him his abbacy, built a little cell for himself and a small number of monks. A great synod being soon after assembled there, in the White Fields, St. Laserian strenuously maintained the Catholic time of celebrating Easter against St. Munnu. This council was held in March 630. But St. Laserian not being able to satisfy in it all his opponents, took another journey to Rome, where Pope Honorius ordained him bishop, without allotting him any particular see, and made him his legate in Ireland. Nor was his commission fruitless: for, after his return, the time of observing Easter was reformed in the south parts of Ireland. St. Laserian died on the 18th of April, 638, and was buried in his own church which he had founded. In a synod held at Dublin, in 1330, the feasts of St. Patrick, St. Laserian, St. Bridget, St. Canic, and St. Edan, are enumerated among the double festivals through the province of Dublin. St. Laserian was the first bishop of Old Leighlin, now a village.—New Leighlin stands on the eastern bank of the river Barrow. See Ware, p. 54, and Colgan’s MSS. on the 18th of April.<

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume IV: April. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.

Laserian of Leighlin B (AC)
(also known as Laisren, Molaisse, Lamliss)

Born in Ireland; died April 18, c. 639. Probably identical to Saint Lamliss, Saint Laserian was the grandson of King Aidan of Scotland, nephew of Saint Blane, and son of Cairel and Blitha. This noble Ulster couple entrusted the education of their precious son to Saint Murin at Iona. He is said to have travelled to Rome, where he was ordained to the priesthood by Saint Gregory the Great. Returning to Ireland, he settled near Saint Goban's abbey of in Carlow, built a cell, and gathered disciples around himself. He succeeded Goban as abbot of the monastery of Leighlin and is said to have founded Inishmurray in County Sligo.

At the national synod in March 630, held in the White Fields, he, Cummian of Clonfert, and others advocated abandoning the Irish method of calculating Easter in deference to the Roman tradition. Because of the opposition to the change offered by such luminaries as Saint Munnu, a delegation with Laserian at its head was sent to Rome to investigate the question more fully.

As a result of the delegation's report, all of Ireland, except Columba's monasteries, adopted the new reckoning for Easter in 633. An additional outcome was Laserian's consecration as bishop (either without a particular see or of Leighlin--this is disputed) and appointment by Pope Honorius I as apostolic legate to Ireland, where he strenuously upheld the Roman observance. (Leighlin was folded into the diocese of Kildare in 1678, during the penal period following the Reformation.)

Laserian returned to Ireland with the relics of Saint Aidan of Ferns. In the 11th century an intricately wrought shrine with blue glass insets and particolored enamel work was designed for the relics. Stokes details the beauty of the surviving portions of the piece which now resides in the National Museum. "Of an original 21 saints arranged in three rows, eleven figures and three pairs of feet survive. Three nuns in uniform habits with their hair hanging in long curls. Eight male figures are in varied dress and various postures, one with a sword, one 'standing in sorrow his cheek resting in his hand.'"

According to one legend, Saint Laserian voluntarily offered himself as a victim soul. He accepted illness caused by 30 diseases simultaneously in order to expiate his sins and avoid purgatory after death. His current cultus is partially indebted to this legend.

In 1330, at a synod held at Dublin, the feasts of Saints Patrick, Laserian, and Bridget were enumerated among the double festivals to be kept throughout the province of Dublin. His cultus center on Inishmurray, where there are notable monastic ruins and a series of praying-stations. He is also venerated in Scotland, where a cave hermitage bearing his name survives on Holy Island in Lamlash Bay, off Arran (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, D'Arcy, Farmer, Husenbeth, Kenney, Montague, Muirhead, Porter, Stokes).

St. Laserian (also called Molaise) was the first bishop and patron saint of Leighlin, b. 566; d. 18 April, 639. He was the son of Cairel de Blitha, a Ulidian noble, and Gemma, daughter of a Scottish king. Part of his youth was spent in Scotland. On his return home he refused the chieftainship of his clan, went into retirement, and ultimately set out for Rome, where he studied for fourteen years and was ordained by Gregory the Great. Returning to Leighlin he entered the great monastery which St. Gobban had established, and soon found himself its abbot, St. Gobban having retired in his favour and gone into Ossory. This establishment soon became famous, and contained as many as 1500 monks. St. Laserian took the leading part in settling the Easter controversy. In the Synod of Magh-lene he successfully defended the Roman computation, and was sent by the council as delegate to Rome. There, in 633, he was consecrated first Bishop of Leighlin by Honorius I. On his return from the centre of Catholic unity Laserian pleaded the cause of the Roman practice so powerfully at another synod in Leighlin that the controversy was practically ended for the greater part of the country. The list of his successors, sometimes called abbots and sometimes bishops, is practically complete. The cathedral of Leighlin was built about the middle of the twelfth century in the plainest Gothic, to replace the original church of wood. It was plundered several times both by the Danes and by the native chieftains, and the great religious establishments of Sletty and Killeshin shared the same fate. In the reign of Henry VIII it was seized by the Reformers, was made a Protestant church, and has continued as such ever since. The sufferings of the Catholics were so intense during the persecutions which raged over Ireland for more than two centuries, that towards the end but a remnant of the clergy remained. What the number of the clergy was in these dioceses before the Reformation, we cannot say for certain; but from the ecclesiastical ruins we have the means of forming a fair estimate. Over these dioceses, at the present day, there lie scattered the mouldering ruins of 240 churches and 63 religious houses, bearing mute but eloquent testimony to the persecutions borne by the Catholics, and to the numbers of the clergy who suffered banishment or death. Nor were these convents small or unimportant; there were many large monasteries of the different religious orders, including the four great Cistercian Abbeys of Abbeyleix, Baltinglass, Duiske, and Monasterevan. The abbey church of Duiske, Graignamanagh, is one of the few abbey churches at present in possession of their rightful owners, and actually devoted to the service of the old religion. There were eight round towers in these dioceses, two of which are still entire, Kildare and Timahoe. The earthen rampart of the Pale can be traced for a mile between Clane and Clongowes College.


COMERFORD, Collections relating to the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin (Dublin, 1883); O'HANLON, Lives of the Irish Saints (Dublin, 1875-); O'DONOVAN, Four Masters; IDEM, Ordnance Survey of Ireland; WARE-HARRIS, Writers and Antiquities of Ireland (Dublin, 1764); LEWIS, Topographical Dictionary (Dublin, 1839); SHEARMAN, Loca Patriciana (Dublin, 1874); WALSH, The Irish Hierarchy (Dublin, 1854); HEALY, Ireland's Ancient Schools and Scholars (Dublin, 1902), IDEM, Life and Writings of St. Patrick (Dublin, 1909); Irish Catholic Directory (1909).

O'Leary, Edward. "Kildare and Leighlin." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 18 Apr. 2015 <>.