Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

(Irish, Tuaim da Ghualann , or the "Mound of the two Shoulders").

The School of Tuam was founded by St. Jarlath, and even during his life (d. c. 540) became a renowned school of piety and sacred learning, while in the eleventh century it rivalled Clonmacnoise as a centre of Celtic art. St. Jarlath was trained for his work by St. Benignus, the successor and coadjutor of St. Patrick, and under this gentle saint's guidance he founded his first monastery at Cluainfois, now Cloonfush, about two miles west from Tuam, and a still shorter distance across the fertile fields from Benignus's own foundation at Kilbannon. Here at Cluainfois, according to a widespread tradition, Saints Benignus and Jarlath and Caillin, another disciple of Benignus, frequently met together to discuss weighty questions in theology and Scripture. The fame of this holy retreat brought scholars from all parts of Ireland, amongst whom were St. Brendan, the great navigator, who came from Kerry, and St. Colman, the son of Lenin, who came from Cloyne. One day Brendan in prophetic spirit told his master that he was to leave Cluainfois and go eastward, and where the wheel of his chariot should break on the journey "there you shall build your oratory, for God wills that there shall be the place of your resurrection, and many shall arise in glory in the same place along with you". Jarlath did not long delay in obeying this inspired instruction. He departed from Cluainfois, and at the place now called Tuam his chariot broke down, and there on the site of the present Protestant, but formerly Catholic, cathedral he built his church and monastic school. And he bade good-bye to Brendan saying, "O holy youth, it is you should be master and I pupil, but go now with God's blessing elsewhere", whereupon Brendan returned to his native Kerry. After the death of St. Jarlath there is little in the national annals about the School of Tuam. There is reference in the "Four Masters", under date 776 ( recte 781), to the death of an Abbot of Tuam called Nuada O'Bolcan; and under the same date in the "Annals of Ulster" to the death of one "Ferdomnach of Tuaim da Ghualann", to whom no title is given. At the year 969 is set down the death of Eoghan O Cleirigh, " Bishop of Connacht", but more distinct reference to a Tuam prelate is found in 1085, when the death of Aedh O Hoisin is recorded. The "Four Masters" call him Comarb of Jarlath and High Bishop ( Ard-epscoip ) of Tuam.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: He will never leave you
  • Daily Readings for Sunday, May 29, 2016
  • St. Maximinus of Trier: Saint of the Day for Sunday, May 29, 2016
  • Advent Prayer HD Video
  • Woman diagnosed with 'nightmare bacteria' in US
  • Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 HD Video
  • WARNING: Exorcist claims demon is targeting families

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jude 1:17, 20-25
17 But remember, my dear friends, what the apostles of our Lord Jesus ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 63:2, 3-4, 5-6
2 Thus I have gazed on you in the sanctuary, seeing your power and your ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 11:27-33
27 They came to Jerusalem again, and as Jesus was walking in the Temple, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 28th, 2016 Image

Bl. Margaret Pole
May 28: Martyr of England. She was born Margaret ... Read More