Mo Ling and the Devil

  • prose, verse
  • Irish hagiography, Anecdote, Legend
Anecdote about Mo Ling
First words (prose)
  • Fechtas dósom oc ernaigthi ina eclais. co n-acca in n-óclach cuci isa tech
prose, verse (primary)
Contains poems
Is ór glan is nem im gréin
Associated items
Is ór glan is nem im gréinIs ór glan is nem im gréinOld Irish praise poem in honour of a religious man, whom manuscript tradition identifies as the saint Mo Ling. This praise is delivered in the form of analogies with both natural and man-made things. In several manuscript versions, the poem is introduced by a prose anecdote which explains that the Devil had appeared to Mo Ling disguised as Christ but was unsuccessful in his attempts to deceive the saint. Mo Ling challenged the Devil and forced him into uttering this poem in his honour.


Irish hagiographyIrish hagiography




Mo Ling
Mo Ling
(d. 697)
Irish saint, abbot and patron saint of Tech Mo Ling (St Mullins, Co. Carlow) and reputed ‘bishop’ of Ferna (Ferns).

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The DevilThe Devil
Entry reserved for but not yet available from the subject index.

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Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] [tr.] Stokes, Whitley [ed.], Goidelica: Old and early Middle Irish glosses, 2nd ed., London, 1872.  
Internet Archive: <link>
179–182 Text from LL
[ed.] Best, Richard Irvine, and M. A. OʼBrien, The Book of Leinster, formerly Lebar na Núachongbála, vol. 5, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1967. xv + pp. 1119-1325.
CELT – pp. 1119-1192 and 1202-1325: <link>
1239–1240 Diplomatic edition of the LL version direct link
[ed.] [tr.] Stokes, Whitley, The martyrology of Oengus the Culdee, Henry Bradshaw Society, 29, London: Harrison, 1905.  
Edition and translation of the Félire Óengusso, with introduction, notes, etc.
CELT – edition (prefaces, prologue, main text and epilogue): <link> Internet Archive: <link>, <link> Internet Archive – originally from Google Books: <link>, <link>
154–156 Laud 610 version
[ed.] [tr.] Stokes, Whitley [ed. and tr.], On the calendar of Oengus, Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, Irish Manuscript Series, 1.1, Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 1880.  

Stokes' first edition of the Félire Óengusso (the second edition was published in 1905). A new version of the preface was published as in 1883.

Internet Archive: <link>
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
May 2014, last updated: January 2024