SAINTS OF MY HEART
Saint Kieran of Saighir, Ireland (+530)
St. Kieran (Ciaran) of Saighir, or St. Kieran the Elder, is also called “the first-born of the Irish saints”. He was born in the fifth century in the Irish kingdom of Ossory and was related to the royal family. His father Luaigne was from Ossory, and his mother Liadan came from Cork. When Liadan was pregnant, she had a dream that a star fell from the sky and rested on her, which was understood as a sign that her infant would have a special role in the history of the Irish Church. Everybody saw brightness and holiness in little Kieran and he was loved by all. He was very kind, humble, inquisitive, loved animals, but first of all wanted to be closer to God. Various traditions connect him with different saints, which is not always chronologically correct, so the connection would have been spiritual, not physical.
Kieran may have been a disciple of St. Finian of Clonard under whom he may have studied. In his youth Kieran spent some time in continental Europe where he was ordained a priest. He probably studied in Gaul (at Tours) and Rome. On his return to Ireland, according to tradition, St. Patrick, the enlightener of the emerald isle, consecrated him the first Bishop of Ossory, where he preached the Gospels and has been venerated from time immemorial. Later the saint settled in the forests of the kingdom of Ossory where he lived in a tiny cell as a true anchorite in Saighir near the Slieve Bloom mountains. According to his biographer, St. Patrick gave him a bell saying that this bell would only ring on the spot where by the will of God Kieran would eventually found a great spiritual center—and this spot was Saighir.
By a spring, the ascetic built a cell of wattle and thin branches smeared with mud, and the roof was of grass and leaves. His diet consisted only of herbs and Continue reading “Saint Kieran of Saighir, Ireland (+530) – March 5”