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The Raven will bring
St Kieran, Patron of Broughall School
Ciaran was born to parents from opposite ends of the country. His father, Beoit, a chariot-builder, came from Larne in County Antrim, and his mother Darerca, came from Kerry. Ciarán was known locally as 'Ciarán mac an tSaeir', the son of the craftsman.
Growing up, Ciarán was renowned for his love of animals.
Clonard, was only the beginning of Ciaran’s travels. Following his time with St.Finian, he studied with the holy man, Enda, on Aran Island. Here, he received a vision of a tree in the middle of Ireland, with branches spreading out to the four corners of the land. The branches were laden with fruit and inhabited by birds.
Enda knew he had something special on his hands with Ciarán, someone whom he knew would do great things. He took Ciarán's vision to be of special importance, and interpreted it as a sign. Ciarán could be the tree - he could shelter Ireland with his grace, and feed men's spiritual hunger with his prayers and fastings. He said, “Go, in the name of God, and found your church on the banks of the Shannon in the center of our island".
Journeying eastwards, Ciarán came to Hare Island on Lough Ree. It was here that he met and converted the men who were to help him establish his monastery. Together, they sailed further down the Shannon to find a suitable site, landing at last at Clúan Moccu Nois, the Meadow of the Sons of Nois. where he started his monastery with a grant of land from Diarmuid MacCerbhaill.
The monastery was only in its seventh month when Ciarán got sick with the plague, leaving behind a small community and some humble wooden huts. In his last moments, the dying abbot tells his men to carry on without him. He tells them: "Go ye, let my relics bleach in the sun like the bones of a deer; better for you to dwell in heaven with me, than here with my relics."
Some stories about St Ciaran
One day Ciaran was reading out of doors in the graveyard in the sun, when he suddenly spied some weary travellers going into the guest house; and hurriedly getting up, he forgot his book, and it lay open out of doors until the following day.
In the meantime, as he busied himself settling his guests in their quarters and bathing their feet and eagerly tending them, the night fell. that same night there fell great rains; but by God's will the open book was found dry and sound; not a drop of rain had fallen upon it, and all the ground round about it was damp. For this Saint Ciaran and his monks praised God
One day as they rowed across Lough Ree, Saint Ciaran's gospel which a brother was holding carelessly, fell into the lake, and for a great while it lay under the waters and was not found. But one summer day, the cows came into the lake, to cool themselves in the water from the great heat of the sun; and when they were coming out from it, the leather wallet in which the Gospel had been put had caught about the foot of one of the cows, and so the cow dragged the wallet with her back to dry land. Inside the sodden leather the book of the Gospel was found, clean and dry and shining white, with no trace of damp, as if it had been hidden in a library. Saint Ciaran rejoiced, and his monks with him. . . .