St. Patrick brought the Faith to Ireland and in his turn, Michan, on the banks of another river, the River Liffey preached the message of Jesus Christ to the faith community of his day. We thank God for the faith of generations of people who have passed on this good news to our time.
Brief History of St. Michan s Church Halston Street
Who St. Michan was, has, until recently, been a mystery to ecclesiastical historians. The old Irish name (Glasmocanoge) of the street now called Constitution Hill, gives a clue to the mystery. Glasmocanoge is the boundary stream of the district that was under the spiritual care of St. MoChanog, namely, St. Michan.
He was the eldest son of the Prince of Brecknock in Wales and lived in the fifth century. He founded the Cill or Church of Cill-mo-Chonog (now Kilmacanoge in Co. Wicklow) and his brother Mocarog founded the cill in Delgany. It seems that having founded the Cill in Kilmacanoge, he then came to Dublin and set up a hostel in the Stoneybatter area.
St. Michan is mentioned in the "A Calendar of Irish Saints" as "Michan of Cill Michan in Atha Cliath" (Michan of the Church of Michan in Dublin) and his feast is 25th August. In fact, his father, the Prince of Brecknock, in Wales was said to have been an Irishman. When Michan set up his Cill in Dublin, he returned to his native Wales and was slain in 496.
Michan s Cill or religious house continued for several centuries and in 1096 the foundation of the Cathedral of St. Michan was laid by the then Bishop. The church remained a Cathedral for a very short time until Christ Church became the Cathedral in 1121. Archbishop Laurence O Toole (1161) introduced Regular Canons into Christ Church to live in community. In support of the Canons he granted various churches, with their tithes, among which was St. Michan s (1178).
After the reformation, the Protestant Government took over the Church of St. Michan (in Church Street) in 1540 and the Catholic priests had to find new ways of providing the Sacraments to their faithful. They had to resort to the back streets for those purposes. St. Michan's Mass House was in a back room of a house and became the first Parish Chapel recorded in Penal Times. The Sacraments continued to be available to the people of the area through the Penal Times and limited Catholic education was provided for boys and girls. Teresa Mullaly founded George s Hill where the Presentation Sisters continue her work to this day.
In 1704, the old building at the corner of Bull Lane and Mary s Lane was transformed into a chapel. The Novena of Grace in honour of St. Francis Xavier was started in this chapel by the Jesuits in 1712
The Irish name for Michan is Mo-Can-og; the Mo (my) and Og (little) usually added to saints names as terms of affection, and Can was the surname. In Welsh the Mo is rendered My, and so, in the name Michan we have the Welsh pronunciation My-Can. The present day Catholic Church of St. Michan opened in 1817.
Easter Vigil in St. Michan's 2015
November annual Markets Remembrance Mass for all who have died from Dublin's Fruit and Vegetable Markets and deceased
Moore St/ Henry St/ Cole's Lane dealers and traders.