New Hagiography


Tradition holds that Saint Kieran (Ciaran) of Saighir was the first Irish Saint born in Ireland. One of the “Twelve Apostles of Ireland,” after a trip to Rome, he fled to the woods to live as a hermit. He befriended animals, he helped them and they helped him. Eventually, he was discovered and hermits moved to be near him, and he founded a large monastery in Ossory.

Liadan dreamed a star fell in her mouth
And Kiaran soon came to be
A forerunner of Patrick? Oh, mystery!
Oh, fame of Ossory!

The falcon in its widening gyre
Descended and stole that little bird,
Kiaran’s heart broke but its voice was heard,
The falcon heard the falconer
He raised his little friend back to life
His child’s heart fought the night

He headed home, back from Rome,
Fled fame in the woods,
Wore animal skins from animal friends,
He loved them and they loved him,

Mr. Fox, Badger, and Wolf,
Helped to put up his cell’s roof,
Then Mr. Fox stole his boots,
Mr. Badger hunted Mr. Fox,
Bound him up, brought him back,
Mr. Fox felt really bad

He tried to hide, they tried to find him
Drawn like bees to a flower
Like a mother pities her children
He gathered and led them

Men of war appeared
He stepped about them like a child
And asked that they reconcile
Undeterred, but his prayer was heard
And the stream between became a deluge
One side left, the other joined him for stew

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