Saint Ciaran

Ciaran, or Kiaran, Saint, the founder of Clonmacnoise.

He was of Ulster extraction; but his father, a carpenter, emigrated to Connaught, where Ciaran was born in 515.

He studied at Clonard, under Saint Finnen, and having completed his education there, perfected himself under the austere rule of Saint Enna, on the Island of Aran, and at Scattery Island.

On his return to Westmeath, a friendly chief gave him a piece of ground whereon he commenced the erection of the religious establishments of Clonmacnoise.

There he ministered during the remainder of his brief life, with the exception of a sojourn at Inishanghin, on the Shannon.

King Diarmaid, whom the Saint befriended while in exile, was a munificent benefactor of Saint Ciaran’s establishment.

He died in 548, aged about 33, only seven months after resuming his government of Clonmacnoise.

His festival is the 9th of September.

He is compared in the Martyrology of Donegal to Christ, in that his father was a carpenter, that his life was wonderfully holy, and that he died about the same age.


119. Ecclesiastical History of Ireland: Rev. John Lanigan. 4 vols. Dublin, 1822.

171. Ireland, History of, from the earliest period to the English Invasion: Rev. Geoffrey Keating: Translated from the Irish, and Noted by John O’Mahony. New York, 1857.

234. Martyrology of Donegal: Edited by J. H. Todd, D.D., and William Reeves, D.D. (I.A.S.) Dublin, 1864.

260. O’Curry, Eugene: Manuscript Materials of Ancient Irish History. Dublin, 1861.