St. Ailbe of Emly

6 April 23 | Posted in Animals, Events, History, Saints, Supernatural

The name Ailbe is derived from the Irish words ail (rock) and beo (alive). Ailbe itself was the name of a divine war dog guarding the boundaries of Leinster.

 Ailbe was born to a maidservant in the house of Cronan, Lord of Eliach in County Tipperary. Cronan, for reasons unknown, disapproved of his birth and ordered the baby exposed to “dogs and wild beasts, that he might be devoured.” But, instead, the boy was hidden under a rock where he was found and nursed by a she-wolf. The wolf raised him with her own cubs.

Long afterwards, when Ailbe was a bishop, an old she-wolf being pursued by a hunting party ran to the bishop and laid her head upon his breast. Ailbe ordered the hunters not to harm her. Ailbe protected the wolf, and every day she would come to his hall to eat with him.