Saint Ciaran March 5th

St. Kieran of Saigir - Saints & Angels - Catholic OnlineMarch 5th is the traditional day in the Holy Mother Church in which we recognize Saint Ciaran, but since it falls on a Sunday this year, we forgo the saint’s feast  and instead celebrate the paschal mystery of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, because that is the basis of our Christian faith. But since our family has a personal attachment to Saint Ciaran, I wanted to share a bit of his history with you today.

Not much is known of this saint, except that he is often referred to as  “the first born saint of Ireland,”he is also know as ‘Ciaran the elder’ as to not confuse him with Ciaran of Clonmacnoise. Saint Ciaran traveled to Tours and Rome to learn about Christianity. It is believed that he was baptized there. Upon his return to Ireland, he built himself a small cell and lived as a hermit in Ossory. He was joined by several other devout men and they formed a monastery. He also founded a monastery for women, which he placed under the direction of his mother.The life of this saint remains a bit obscure and there are contradicting details about when he was ordained a bishop but according to some writers, he was one of the twelve consecrated by Saint Patrick to help him in Ireland.

There are many legends surrounding this saint. One such legend is that a kite (a bird of prey) flew above the young Ciaran and swooped down near the boy and picked up a small bird that was sitting on her nest. This upset the young  Ciaran terribly and he yelled to the kite to drop the bird, and the kite turned back and dropped the small bird in front of the young saint, where upon he bade the small bird to rise and be whole. The small bird stood and flew back to the nest  from which it had been plucked. Another legend tells the story of a fox a badger and a wolf who worked with Saint Ciaran and his monks to help cut wood and to help in the building of huts for the brothers.

The date of Saint Ciaran’s death is uncertain but he is believed to have died of natural causes at the age of ninety sometime around the year 490.

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