Feradach Went to Heaven

Both brandubh and fidchell are both ancient Irish board games.

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583 Kl. The slaying of Feradach Finn son of Dui, king of Osraige. Now he was one of the three kings who went to heaven during the lifetime of Colum Cille, and this is the reason, as Colum Cille told Áed son of Ainmere: A great illness seized Feradach. Clann Connla came to storm his house, because Feradach son of Dui was of the Corcu Laígde (for seven kings of the Corcu Laígde ruled Osraige, and seven kings of the Osraige took the kingship of Corcu Laígde). Now, he had waged war against Clann Connla. And he was in his sleeping-place then, and his riches were all there with him, as it was customary for the kings to have cubicles of yew about them, that is, a partitioned place, for their bars and cases of silver and their cups and goblets to give service at night, and their brandub and fidchell games and their bronze hurley-sticks to use by day. Feradach had many treasures, and he loved them greatly; but he had acquired them by evil means, for he would not hear of much or little gold or silver, in the possession of either powerful or wretched in Osraige, without confiscating it to take away that wealth, to ornament those treasures. Feradach’s sons came to his bed then to take the treasures away with them. ‘What do you want, sons?’ asked Feradach. ‘To take the treasures away with us,’ answered the youths. ‘You shall not take them,’ said Feradach, ‘for they were ill-gotten; I tormented many in gathering them, and I consent to being tormented myself by my enemies on their account.’

His sons left him, and he began fervent penance. Then Clann Connla came, and they killed Feradach, and took the treasures; and Feradach went to heaven.

Fragmentary Annals of Ireland, Annal FA 4.

Published by Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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