St Mochua, was of the same family as St Bridgid of Faughart and Kildare. Mochua who was originally from Mayo was born in the 560’s, about a century after St Patricks death. He was a very successful Soldier but was suddenly converted about the year 600 and became a Monk. “The Medieval Life” by Plummer describes the many miracles that happened in response to his prayers during his life in Timahoe Co. Laois.
Like many of lives of saints written in medieval times, it was meant to show what a great wonderworker he was rather than to tell us when and where he lived and worked. Hence the author is MOST INTERESTED IN THE MIRACLES HE PERFORMED…..how he restored his memory to Colman, the neighbouring abbot of Lynally, how he cured Munnu from leprosy…”
He travelled to various parts of Ireland and Scotland, founding thirty Churches between the two countries. But as his Fame spread, crowds of friends were a distraction in Timahoe and he finally decided to seek a more secluded spot. He headed north in the direction of Armagh and, says the Ancient Life, “under Gods guidance he came into the land of Oriel to a certain place called Derrynoose ( the Oakwood of the Stag). Here he rang the bell that he carried in his hand but the tongue of the bell fell out on the ground…… This grieved him very much because, says the ancient life, ”the place was mountainy and almost uninhabitable”. But an angel was sent by God to console him and he told him “ GOD WANTS YOU TO INHABIT THIS PLACE AND BUILD A CHURCH”. He built a church there and lived another 30 years until he died in Derrynoose on Christmas Eve, 24th December 657.
He is commemorated in the Irish Martyrologies, the Martyroloty of Oengus calling him “Mochua fromTimahoe in Laois in Leinster and Derrynoose in Sliabh Faud”, the high ground running across the centre of County Armagh.
After having left Timahoe Co. Laois, at 60 years of age, he walked to Derrynoose in circa 620 AD. Again, he died at the Patrirchal age of ninety on Christmas Eve 657 AD and the miracles which marked his life didn’t end at his death, for his Holy Well became the scene of wonders. Through his intercession, the deaf began to hear, the dumb to speak, the blind had their sight restored and the lame began to walk again. ( source Armagh Observer 1930 article on procession to Holy Well with over 3,000 in attendance.)
“The Present residents of Derrynoose and surrounding areas are no less devout to St Mochua. They believe that the waters of his Holy Well are no less
Powerful today for their Healing properties, if they are used with the Faith of St Mochua and applied though his Holy intercession” . Source Armagh Observer Account of procession to Holy Well 30th May 1936 – over 3,000 in attendance).
Plummers edition of “The Medieval Life” has six pages in Latin covering the life of St Mochua. The pages detail the wonder worker that he was and describes the many miracles that were performed in answer to his prayers of intercession.
Mochuas Life tells us that before each of his Miracles, that were wrought in answer to his Prayers, He Prayed fervently with Fasting and Penance( Source Cardinal Tomas O Fiach Homily Delivered at St Mochua’s Holy Well during celebration of Mass 18th July 1987 )
The Cistercian Monks built an Abbey in Listrakelt Derrynoose in the time of St Malachy and the Holy Well has been famous for almost 1,400 years both locally and further afield for Miraculous Cures and Healings.
( Source – article by Mary Reneghan – June 1999. Mary Reneghan nee Mc Nally from Listrakelt was the person who looked after the upkeep of the Well during her lifetime, as did her mother Josepha Mc Nally – nee Cowan, Fergort Road, before her.)
Masses Celebrated by Cardinals O Fiaich 1987 , Cardinal Sean Brady, Cardinal Cahal Daly and Bishop Gerard Clifford (1999) will be added to the website very soon as well as further History on St Mochua.rn
The Committe of St Mochua’s Holy Well Derrynoose are committed to recording as many testimonials of answered Prayer at this Sacred site as we can uncover. We would really appreciate it if anyone has any knowledge of anyone who has received Healing of Mind, Body or Spirit in response to turning to St Mochua for help to let us know so we can have a record of their experience.
We would be delighted if you could send a written testimonial – either hand written or typed and signed with your Name, Address and contact details for authenticity purposes. These should be addressed to:
“St Mochua’s Holy Well” Testimonials C/o Parish Priest 34 Madden Road Keady Co. Armagh BT60 3RW
These testimonials will be kept for Parish records for future generations to discover so they in turn can turn to the intercession of St Mochua for help. In addition, with the authors permission, the testimonials will be displayed on this site www.HolyWellDerrynoose.com
These testimonials also help “Stir or Awaken” the Faith in those who read them and realise that the Power of God is very much real and present to us today, as it was in the past.
Testimonials can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Video testimonials would also be appreciated if they can be arranged and sent via email.
You can be assured that St Mochua would really appreciate it if you shared with others, the Heavenly assistance that he has helped bring into your own life, or the lives of those you know.
Prayer is not only the greatest power available to us. It is also the simplest and best way to handle everything that comes our way. Prayer should always be our first response to every situation.
Prayer does not have to be complicated. It only needs to come from the heart.