Sunday 3 June 2018

# Saints

Saint Kevin of Glendalough

Image: Saint Kevin and the blackbird, miniature of an Irish codex, ca. 9th or 10th cent.

The 3rd of June is the feast day of Saint Kevin of Glendalough (498 – 3 June 618). He is the patron saint of blackbirds, Archdiocese of Dublin, Glendalough, and Kilnamanagh.

He lived in Ireland during the time when great Irish saints lived, many being his contemporaries. He was baptised by Saint Cronan and from the age of 7 years old, he was taught by Saint Petroc. He was a student of Irish monks from the age of 12, and also became a monk. His friends included many saints such as Saint Comgall, Saint Columba, Saint Cannich, and Saint Kieran. After he was ordained, he became a hermit living in the caves for seven years. He had a number of followers and he formed the monastery of Glendalough. His fame made the remote spot into a town, and then into a city. Several offshoots of monastic foundations rose around it as well. He became an abbot in Glendalough and when the monastery was well established, became a hermit again for four years. He was then called to Glendalough where he served again as an abbot until he died at 120 years old. There are a number of legends of Saint Kevin involving wild animals who obeyed him, asking him for refuge and helping him feed other people.