Saint Kieran (Ciaran) of Saighir

21 January 22 | Posted in Animals, Events, Global Catholic, History, Saints, Supernatural

Saint Kieran was an Irish abbot and bishop who lived in the sixth century. His feast day is March 5. Saint Kieran is said to be the first native-born saint of Ireland. 

His conversion to Christianity probably preceeded the arrival of Saint Patrick. He may have been ordained a bishop during a visit to Rome; or he could be one of the twelve bishops appointed by Saint Patrick.

On his return from Rome Saint Kieran settled in Saighir as a hermit, an area near the Slieve Bloom Mountain range. He wore animal skins and lived in the wilderness. One day, he noticed a fierce looking boar close to him in the forest. Saint Kieran spoke gently to the boar calling him, “Brother Boar.” Kieran loved animals and they trusted him. The boar realized that Kieran was a friend. He helped him build his hut, tearing down strong branches with his teeth and tusks and bringing them to Kieran. Soon, other animals joined them included a wolf, fox, badger, deer, and many birds. Kieran called them his brother monks. The fox stole Kieran’s shoes. The badger went after the fox The animals stayed even though men came to follow to follow Kieran and join his community.

Kieran performed his first miracle as a boy. A kite soared over him and grabbed a little bird as she sat on her nest. Kieran demanded that the kite release the little bird. The kite turned back and released the bird, but it was wounded and half-dead. At Kieran’s command, the little bird was restored to life and resumed sitting on her nest.

In one wonderful tale, Saint Kieran blessed a well and from that time it “had the taste of wine or honey—for everyone who drank from it got drunk as well as filled.” The site may have been a local holy well, which certainly would have become even more popular after his miracle.

 

 

 

St. Kateri Habitats and Parks

I wanted to find a way to honor God, faith, and my love of nature. The St. Kateri Habitats and Parks program showed me a way to do it. Anyone can change their yard, parish landscaping or fields into a healthy habitat for people and wildlife. It can be as easy as planting an herb garden, or flowers and shrubs for bees and butterflies.  The St. Kateri Habitats and Parks program is sponsored by the St. Kateri Conservation Center. 

The St. Kateri Habitats program helps us to see the land as a spiritual place, which fosters and strengthens our spirituality. Religious expression in a St. Kateri Habitat could include signs, statues of Mary, your favorite saint, saints who loved animals, birds and nature, angels, crosses and shrines. It could include walkways or paths for meditation and benches to sit quietly in prayer or contemplation.

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Saint Kateri Tekakwitha is the first American Indian to be canonized by the Catholic Church. She was a Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) born in what is now New York State. St. Kateri is the patron saint of the environment and integral ecology.