“He was a lamp, blazing with the light of wisdom.” Apart from his studies, Kieran also had a great capacity for friendship with other leaders of the early Irish church. He would later mentor, befriend, and tutor many of the founders of the great Catholic Church in Ireland. Kieran’s years of residence at Clonard were marked by many miracles, which benefited not only the monastery itself, but those who studied within its walls, and the entire community.
|Ruins of Conmacnoise Monastery|
One day as Kieran was watching the cattle some distance from the home of deacon Justus, Kieran realized he was able to hear his tutor’s instruction as closely as if he were in Justus’ house. On another occasion, while Kieran was out in the cattle pasture, a fox emerged from the forest and approached him. He treated the animal gently, so that it returned quite often. Kieran asked the fox to do him the favor of carrying his text of the Psalms back and forth between him and Justus. One day, however, the fox was overcome by hunger, and began to eat the leather straps that covered the book. While the fox was eating, a hunting party with a pack of hounds attacked him. The dogs were relentless in their pursuit, and the fox could not find shelter in any place except the cowl of Kieran’s robe. God was thus glorified twice – by the book being saved from the fox, and by the fox being saved from the hounds.
When it was time for Kieran to leave home for the monastery of Clonard, he asked his parents for a cow to take with him as a contribution to the community. His mother refused this request, so Kieran blessed a cow of the herd, and the cow followed him to Clonard, accompanied by her calf. Not wishing to take both the cow and the calf, Kieran used his staff to draw a line on the ground between the animals. After that, neither the cow nor the calf would cross this line, and the calf returned home. The milk provided by Kieran’s cow was reputed to amply supply all in the monastery, as well as their guests.
During a time of famine, when it was Kieran’s turn to carry a sack of oats to the mill in order to provide a little food for the monks, he prayed that the oats would become fine wheat. While Kieran was singing the Psalms with pure heart and mind, the single sack of oats was miraculously transformed into four sacks of the best wheat. Kieran returned home and baked bread with this wheat, which the older monks said was the best they had ever tasted. These loaves not only satisfied their hunger, they were said to heal every sick person in the monastery who ate them.
While in the Aran Islands with St. Enda, both monks saw the same vision of a great and fruitful tree growing on the banks of a stream in central Ireland. This tree sheltered the entire island, its fruit crossed the sea surrounding Ireland, and birds came to carry off some of that fruit to the rest of the world. Enda interpreted this vision for his friend by saying, “The great tree is you, Kieran, for you are great in the eyes of God and all people. All of Ireland will be sheltered by the grace in you, and many will be nourished by your fasting and prayers. Go to the center of Ireland, and found your church on the banks of a stream.
A Cow Comes to Kieran’s Aid
A careless monk dropped Kieran’s text of the Gospels into the lake surrounding Hare Island, where it remained underwater for a long time. On a summer day when the cattle went into the lake, the strap of Kieran’s book stuck to the foot of one of the cows. When the book was retrieved, it was dry, with not a letter blurred or a page destroyed.
Year 2: Day 251 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Diligence and hard work in the vineyard of the Lord
Requested Intentions: Clear speech for a child (C); Conversion of a family (A); Successful employment (S); For the healing of impaired vision (F); For a couple experiencing difficulties (L); Successful employment after finishing college (M); Mother’s health (A); Financial security, freedom from anxiety (S); For a son and cousins (L); Peace and civility (B); Successful examination results (D); Safety of family, strength, courage, wisdom (C); For the souls of a departed father and brother, finding of a suitable marriage partner (R); Successful pilgrimage, deepening of prayer life (R); Restoration of health (J); Restoration of health (S); Freedom from pride (A); For children and marriage (M); For the birth of a healthy baby (Y); For personal family intentions, for the sick, poor, hungry, and homeless (G); Financial security and peace (J); Grace, peace, and obedience to the will of God in a marriage (H); Successful and blessed marriage for sin, freedom from anxiety for husband, spiritual contentedness for family (N); Employment and health for a husband (B); Recovery and health of a mother (J); For a family to grow closer to the Church, salvation for all children (D); Successful employment (L); Successful employment (S); Renewal of faith life (A); Support for an intended marriage, health for friend and aunt (J); Mental health assistance for son (G); Freedom from illness (S); Successful employment (C).