Feast of St Flannan

Homily for Eve of St. Flannan’s Day – Ennis Cathedral – Friday 17th of December 2021 – Limited Congregation due to Global Pandemic of Corona Virus


Advent Season

Today marks:

  • Day 20 of our Advent Preparations,
  • The second last day of Week 3 of the Season,
  • The first day of the celebration of the series of “O-Antiphons” in our liturgy.


It is also of course the eve of the feast of St. Flannan our patron, here in the diocese of Killaloe.


St. Flannan

Flannan of Killaloe, a 7th century saint, son of Turlough, the King of Thomond, outstanding pupil of Molua, man of prayer, holiness, penance, steeped in scriptures, leader in faith.  We celebrate and honour him today.  We pray through his intercession for his inspiration and guidance as we follow in his steps in this Church of Jesus Christ in Killaloe diocese.


In the words of St. Brendan of Birr writing in the 7th Century in his prediction on the importance of St. Flannan:


“There shall arise a star from Jacob, a person of royal blood, on the banks of the river Shannon, who shall put to flight and defeat the rulers of darkness.”


As human beings we have a great need for leaders to whom we can appeal to for inspiration and guidance.  St. Flannan is our model in Killaloe.


In these challenging days of on-going global pandemic we pray to our patron and founder to do exactly what Brendan predicted he would do “put to flight and defeat the rulers of darkness”.  In just four days from now we mark the Winter solstice and as we anticipate the light that is Jesus Christ on Christmas day, so too we look forward to and pray for a Springtime of hope, light and freshness.


Hope in the Messiah

These days of Advent in the readings at Mass we have been immersed in the Scriptures focusing on the Messianic texts from the prophet Isaiah.  Various titles are given for the Messiah who is to come and these titles are celebrated in the Magnificat Antiphons during Vespers or evening prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours.


This evening is day one of that sequence of what we call “O-Antiphons”.


The emphasis today is on the coming of the Lord being Wisdom for us.  The Gospel acclamation prays today:


Wisdom of the Most High,

ordering all things with strength and gentleness,

come and teach us the way of truth.


O Antiphons

The sequence of the O-antiphons are:

  • Wisdom
  • Lord & Ruler
  • Root of Jesse
  • Key of David
  • Rising Sun
  • King of the Nations
  • Emmanuel


On this Day of celebration of our diocesan patron, St. Flannan of Killaloe, we pray that he might continue to be an inspiration of wisdom invoked in today’s antiphon.  We pray for that wisdom as we continue on the synodal pathway in the diocese of Killaloe.


Come Lord Jesus, wisdom from above!  Do not delay.

St. Flannan be with us on our synodal way, on our pilgrim paths in the Diocese of Killaloe.  Amen!


Prayers of the Faithful


On the eve of the celebration of our Patron, St. Flannan we pray for all who live in the diocese of Killaloe.  May the Lord continue to bless us all as we prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas.  Lord Hear Us.


We pray for all who minister in the diocese, clergy, laity, especially our New Ministers of Pastoral Care and Catechists who are to be commissioned during Holy Week for work in the diocese. Lord Hear Us.


We pray for our deacon, Antun who is preparing for ordination to priesthood. Lord Hear U.


We pray for the success of the synodal pathway in the diocese of Killaloe and the universal Church.  Lord Hear Us.


We remember all who are sick and all who have asked our prayers.  Lord Hear Us.


We pray for an end to the global pandemic of Covid 19.  Lord Hear Us.


We pray the light of heaven to the faithful departed.  Lord Hear Us.