This digital art print of Saint Kieran is the perfect addition to your home decor or a great gift for birthdays, Confirmation, or your friend with a cold!
St. Kieran of Clonmacnoise, sometimes called Ciara mac an tSaeir or “son of the carpenter,” was a great Irish saint and was considered one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland, along with St. Ciaran of Saighir, St. Brendan of Birr, St. Brendan of Clonfert, St. Columba, St. Columba of Terryglass, St. Mobhi of Glasnevin, St. Ruadhain of Lorrha, St. Senan of Iniscathay, St. Ninnidh of Louth Erne, St. Laisren mac Nad Froich, and St. Canice.
St. Kieran studied at St. Finnian’s school at Clonard and gained a reputation for his brilliance. It was said of him that he “was a lamp, blazing with the light of wisdom.” Eventually, Kieran spent seven years with St. Enda on Inishmore at a monastery. He was asked to leave because of his excessive charity!
After leaving Inishmore, Kieran eventually settled near the Shannon River on a site that is now a major attraction: Clonmacnoise. At this site, Kieran built a monastery and it became the center of Irish learning.
There are several legends associated with St. Kieran. The first and most famous tells that Kieran brought a cow with him to Clonard and was able to give milk to everyone at the Abbey, and that the cow also supplied the parchment for the Leobr na h’Uidre, or Book of the Dun Cow, which was one of the most important Irish literary collections and was compiled by a Clonmacnoise scribe in 1106.
Another story says that Kieran lent his copy of the Gospel of Matthew to his peer, St. Ninnidh, and when St. Finnian tested the class on what they had learned, Kieran only knew the first half of the Gospel. His classmates laughed and called him “Kieran Half-Matthew,” but St. Finnian said “Not Kieran Half-Matthew, but Kieran Half-Ireland, for he will have half the country and the rest of us will have the other half.”
St. Kieran is sometimes depicted with a cow and a fox to illustrate various legends associated with him. He is also depicted with the high crosses of Clonmacnoise, where he built his monastery, and books to show his great learning.