St Luran
Who was St Luran?

In Canon John O’Hanlon’s fascinating work, The Lives of Irish Saints (1893) we find an entry for our patron saint:- “St Luran, son of Conan. According to the Martyrology of Donegal we find that St Luran, son of Conan had veneration given to him on this day (2nd June)... When or where he lived seems to be unknown.” In the 12th Century Martyrology of Gormon Luran is given the title of bishop.

The Rev EA Brandon in his study “To whom we dedicated” (1954) makes reference to Luran: “A fifth century Irish saint, son of Cuana, who was descended from Colla Uais, monarch of Ireland. His mother is said to have been Darerca, sister of St Patrick. He was Bishop at Doire-Lurain, now Derryloran, on the borders of Londonderry and Tyrone. Little is known of his life.”

In the recently published “Church of Ireland – An illustrated history” we read: St Luran, whose mother Darerca was said to be was said to be St Patrick’s sister, was bishop in the fifth century.

Further delving into the history of Christianity in Ireland and The Tripartite Life of St Patrick reveals that St Patrick had 2 brothers – Ruchti and Sannan, and 5 sisters – Tyrgrida, Lupait, Richella, Cinnerium and Darerca (also known as Liamain).

Darerca was married twice – first to Restitus the Lombard, and, when he died, to Chonas (Conan) the Briton. She is said to have had 17 children – many of whom devoted their lives to the service of the Church in all parts of the land as bishops and saints – some more famous than others! One of them Gradlon Mawr became Gradlon the Great, King of Brittany. Luran devoted himself to serving Christ in this locality. Darerca is said to have died in 516, and her feast day is observed on 22 March, while that of St Luran in 29 October.