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Saint Dallan Forgail

Saint Dallan Forgail
  • Century: 6th Century
  • Patronage: -
  • Feast Day: January 29th

St. Dallan was born Dallan Forgail in Ireland.  He was an early Christian Irish poet, best known as the writer of the “Eulogy of St. Columba”.  He also wrote a poem that became the basis for the modern English hymn “Be Thou My Vision”.  His given name was Eochaid Forchella, and he was the son of Colla, a descendant of the legendary High King Colla Uasis.  His nickname Dallan, meaning “little blind one” was earned because he lost his sight, which legend teaches as a result of studying intensively. 

He was born in Ballyconnell, and was a first cousin of St. Mogue and a fourth cousin of St. Tigernach of Clones.  He died in 598 when pirates broke into the island Monastery of Inneskeel, in Donegal where he is buried.  He was reportedly beheaded, and it is said that God reattached his head to his body after he was martyred.  He was venerated as a saint in the early 11th century.  It is said he was not only a poet, but also a scholar of Latin Scriptural learning.  He helped to reform the Bardic Order at the Convention of Drumceat.  He is best known for Eulogies attributed to him on the subject of contemporaneous Irish saints, namely the Eulogy of St. Columba, St. Senan, and St. Connall. 

Practical Take Away

St. Dallan Forgail was born in Ireland, and was an early Christian Irish Poet.  He was born Eochaid Forchella, and earned the nickname of Dallan, meaning “little blind one” because he lost his sight.  It is said that he lost his sight from extensive studying.  He died in 598 when pirates broke into the Monastery of Inneskeel, Donegal, after being beheaded.  Legend teaches that God reattached his head to his body after he was martyred.  He is best known as an early Christian Irish Poet.