Catholic Encyclopedia – Saint Aedan of Ferns


(‘Aedh-og or Mo-Aedh-og)

Bishop and patron of Ferns, in Ireland, born at Inisbrefny, near Templeport, County Cavan, about 550; died at Ferns, 31 January 632. When a youth he was a hostage in the hands of Aedh Ainmire, High-King of Ireland. He studied at the great school of Kilmuine, in Wales, under Saint David, and returned to Ireland in 580, landing on the coast of Wexford. In thanksgiving for the victory of Dunbolg, County Wicklow, 10 January 598, in which King Aedh was slain, Bran Dubh, King of Leinster, convened a synod at which, having represented the great services rendered to the kingdom of Leinster by Saint Aedan, notably the remission of the Boromha tribute, it was agreed that Ferns be made an episcopal see, with Aedan as first bishop. He was also given a nominal supremacy over the other Leinster bishops by the title of Ard-Escop or Chief Bishop. King Bran Dubh was slain in Ferns in 605. Saint Aedan, popularly known as Mogue (Mo-Aedh-og = my dear Aedh) founded thirty churches in the County Wexford. The episcopal seat of Ferns is now at Enniscorthy, where there is a beautiful cathedral dedicated to Saint Aedan, whose patronal feast is observed 31 January.

MLA Citation

  • William Grattan-Flood. “Saint Aedan of Ferns”. Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 1, 1907. CatholicSaints.Info. 12 November 2010. Web. 17 June 2019. <>