St. Kenneth
This saint, who is sometimes called St. Canice or Kenny, lived in the sixth century. He was born in Ireland and is famous in both Ireland and Scotland. His father was a bard, that is, a professional singer of ballads and stories in song. As a young man, Kenneth went to Wales to study for the priesthood. St. Cadoc was his teacher. After he became a priest, he went to visit Rome. He then returned to Ireland to study at the school of St. Finnian. Kenneth became good friends with three other Irish saints--Kieran, Comgall and Columba. 

After preaching throughout Ireland, St. Kenneth went with St. Columba to Scotland on a mission to the pagan King Brude. When this king angrily seized his sword to strike the two missionaries, it is said that St. Kenneth made the sign of the cross, and a miracle took place. The king's hand was suddenly paralyzed, and the saints were saved. St. Kenneth and St. Columba were always close friends. Once Columba was sailing with some companions. Kenneth was far away in his monastery in Ireland. Suddenly he became aware that Columba was in great danger at sea. He jumped up from the dinner table and ran to church to pray for his beloved friend. Out at sea, Columba cried to his frightened companions: "Don't be afraid! God will listen to Kenneth. Right now he is running to church with only one shoe on to pray for us!" And as he said, they were saved. 

St. Kenneth started several monasteries and converted many nonbelievers. He became famous for his zealous preaching of the Gospel. Even more, he became well-known for the perfect way in which he himself practiced the teachings of Jesus. 

St. Kenneth knew how to make the best of a situation. His good humor won him many friends and helpers in preaching the Good News. We can ask St. Kenneth to show us how to be as good and cheerful a friend as he was. 

St. Kevin (Coemgen)

Abbot of Glendalough, Ireland, b. about 498, the date being very obscure; d. 3 June, 618; son of Coemlog and Coemell. His name signifies fair-begotten. He was baptized by St. Cronan and educated by St. Petroc, a Briton. From his twelfth year he studied under monks, and eventually embraced the monastic state. Subsequently he founded the famous monastery of Glendalough (the Valley of the Two Lakes), the parent of several other monastic foundations. After visiting Sts. Columba, Comgall, and Cannich at Usneach (Usny Hill) in Westmeath, he proceeded to Clonmacnoise, where St. Cieran had died three days before, in 544. Having firmly established his community, he retired into solitude for four years, and only returned to Glendalough at the earnest entreaty of his monks. He belonged to the second order of Irish saints and probably was never a bishop. So numerous were his followers that Glendalough became a veritable city in the desert. His festival is kept 
throughout Ireland. Glendalough became an episcopal see, but is now incorporated with Dublin. St. Kevin's house and St. Kevin's bed of rock are still to be seen: and the Seven Churches of Glendalough have for centuries been visited by pilgrims. 

O'HANLON, Lives of Irish Saints (Dublin, 1875), VI, 28 sqq.; HEALY, Ireland's Ancient Schools and Scholars (Dublin, 1890); LANIGAN, Ecclesiastical Hist. or Ireland (Dublin, 1829), II; OLDEN in Dict. Nat. Biog., s. v. 

Transcribed by David Cheney 

Known in Ireland as Coemgen as well as Kevin, according to tradition he was born at the Fort of the White Fountain in Leinster, Ireland, of royal descent. He was baptized by St. Cronan and educated by St. Petroc. He was ordained, and became a hermit at the Valley of the Two Lakes in Glendalough. After seven years there, he was persuaded to give up his 
solitary life. He went to Disert-Coemgen, where he founded a monastery for the disciples he attracted, and later moved to Glendalough. He made a pilgrimage to Rome, bringing back many relics for his permanent foundation at Glendalough. He was a friend of St. Kieran of Clonmacnois, and was entrusted with the raising of the son of King Colman of Ui Faelain, 
by the king. Many extravagant miracles were attributed to Kevin, and he was reputed to be 120 years old at his death. His feast day is June 3rd. 

St. Kiara (Chier, Ciara) of Kilkeary, Virgin

Feastday: October 16


Died c. 680. An Irish maiden, directed in the religious life by Saint Finian (f.d. October 21). She lived near Nenagh, County

Tipperary, at a place now called after her: Kilkeary (Benedictines).

St. Kieran of Seirkeiran. Ossory diocese. circa 545
Feastday: March 5

Kieran or Ciaran was both bishop and monk. Born in West Cork, but from an Ossory family, he appears to have travelled to Europe where he was ordained. On his return to Ireland he settled at Seir (Saighir) near Birr, first as a hermit and then as abbot of a large monastery there. He also had a hermitage on the island of Cape Clear, off West Cork. Fascinating tales of his life surrounded by the animals of his neighbouring woods have often been re-told.

St. Killian

Feastday: July 8

An Irish monk, St. Kilian was consecrated Bishop, went to Rome with eleven companions in 686, and received permission from Pope Conon to evangelize Franconia (Baden and Bavaria). Kilian from Cavan was a missionary to Franconia and rebuilt the Church in Baden and Bavaria. Many pre-Reformation cathedrals in Germany and Austria were dedicated in honour of Kilian, pre-eminent among them being that at Würzburg. He was successful, with two followers - Colman, a priest, and Totnan, a deacon - in his missionary endeavors until he convverted Gosbert, Duke of Wurzburg, who had married Geilana, his brother's widow. According to legend, while Gosbert was away on a military expedition, Geilana is reputed to have had the three missionaries beheaded when she found that Gosbert was going to leave her after Kilian had told him the marriage was forbidden by the Church.In art, Saint Kilian is a bishop holding a sword (often large) and standing between two priests. His name is invoked against gout and rheumatism.

St. Kinnia, Virgin
Feastday: February 1

6th century. Saint Kinnia was another Irish maiden baptized and consecrated by Saint Patrick. She is highly venerated in County Louth (Benedictines).

St. Lactan (Lactinus) of Freshford, Abbot
Feastday March 19

Born near Cork, Ireland; died 672. Saint Lactan was educated at Bangor under Saints Comgall (f.d. May 11) and Molua (Luanis or Lugid; f.d. August 4). Saint Comgall sent him to be abbot-founder of Achadh-Ur, now Freshford, in Kilkenny. He is credited with many miracles, including cures of paralytics and the mentally ill (Benedictines, Montague).

St. Lasar (Lassar, Lassera), Virgin 6th century.
Feastday: March 29

The Irish nun Saint Lasar (meaning 'Flame') was the niece of Saint Forchera. Still very young, she entered religious life under the care of SS. Finnian (f.d. December 12) and Ciaran (f.d. September 9) at Clonard (Benedictines).

St. Laserian, abbot. Leighlin diocese. 639
Feastday: April 18

Born in Ireland; died April 18, c. 639. Probably identical to Saint Lamliss (f.d. March 3), Saint Laserian was the grandson of King Aidan of Scotland, nephew of Saint Blane (f.d. August 11), and son of Cairel and Blitha. This noble Ulster couple entrusted the education of their precious son to Saint Murin at Iona. The Celtic prefix of endearment makes his name Molaise, and in Scotland it is so accentuated that he is usually known as Molios.

He is said to have travelled to Rome, where he was ordained to the priesthood by Saint Gregory the Great (f.d. September 3). Returning to Ireland, he brought with him a new version of the Holy Scriptures, and the rules by which the Roman Church fixed the date of Easter.

He settled near Saint Goban's (f.d. May 23) abbey of in Carlow, built a cell, and gathered disciples around himself. He succeeded Goban as abbot of the monastery of Leighlin and is said to have founded Inishmurray in County Sligo.

At the national synod in March 630, held in the White Fields (Synod of Magh Ailbhe) he, Cummian of Clonfert (f.d. November 12), and others advocated abandoning the Irish method of calculating Easter in deference to the Nicene formulation. Because of the opposition to the change offered by such luminaries as Saint Munnu (f.d. October 21), a delegation with Laserian at its head was sent to Rome to investigate the question more fully.

As a result of the delegation's report, all of Ireland, except Columba's monasteries, adopted the new reckoning for Easter in 633. The final decision in favour of the Nicene reckoning in England was made at the Council of Whitby some thirty years later.

An additional outcome was Laserian's consecration as bishop (either without a particular see or of Leighlin--this is disputed) and appointment by Pope Honorius I as apostolic legate to Ireland.

Laserian returned to Ireland with the relics of Saint Aidan of Ferns (f.d. January 31). In the 11th century an intricately wrought shrine with blue glass insets and parti-coloured enamel work was designed for the relics. Stokes details the beauty of the surviving portions of the piece which now resides in the National Museum. "Of an original 21 saints arranged in three rows, eleven figures and three pairs of feet survive. Three nuns in uniform habits with their hair hanging in long curls. Eight male figures are in varied dress and various postures, one with a sword, one 'standing in sorrow his cheek resting in his hand.'"

Devotion to him is strongest on Inishmurray, where there are notable monastic ruins and a series of praying-stations. He is also venerated in Scotland, where a cave hermitage bearing his name survives on Holy Island in Lamlash Bay, off Arran.

At Old Leighlin, there is still his well and S. Laserian's Cross, but these are the only remains of his monastery. On Holy Island, in Lamlash Bay, at Arran, there is a cave believed to be the saint's retreat and marked with many pilgrims' crosses (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, D'Arcy, Farmer, Husenbeth, Kenney, Montague, Muirhead, Porter, Stokes).

St. Lelia of Limerick, Virgin

Feastday: August 11


Date unknown. Saint Lelia was a very early Irish virgin, who is connected with the dioceses of Limerick and Kerry. Several places in

Ireland commemorate her name (Benedictines).


St. Loaran
d. 5th century Feastday: August 30

Irish disciple of St. Patrick. He is sometimes listed as the bishop of Downpatrick, Ireland.

St. Lawrence O'Toole
b. 1128 d. 1180 Feastday: November 14

Augustinian archbishop of Dublin, Ireland. He was born at Leinster, the Son of Murtagh, chief of the Murrays, in Castledermot, Kildare. Taken hostage by King Dermot McMurrogh of Leinster in a raid, Lawrence was surrendered to the bishop of Glendalough. Lawrence became a monk, and in 1161 was named archbishop of Dublin. He was involved in negotiating with the English following their invasion of Ireland, and in 1172 convened a synod at Cashel. He also attended the General Lateran Council in Rome in 1179, and was named papal legate to Ireland. While on a mission to King Henry II of England, Lawrence died at Eu, Normandy, France. He was canonized in 1225.

St. Lua of Killaloe
Feastday: May 11

Died 7th century. Saint Lua gave his name to the ancient town of Killaloe (Church of Lua). He is said to have been born of noble parents in Limerick, and educated at Bangor and Clonard. He founded a church and school on the River Shannon, where one of his pupils was the future Bishop Flannan, who succeeded Lua as abbot.

His refuge on Friar's Island, County Tipperary, was a pilgrim's destination even in the 20th century--until a power dam raised the level of the Shannon in 1929 and submerged the island. Lua's chapel had been removed, its stones numbered, and reassembled on the former site of Brian Boru's palace overlooking the Shannon.

A legend relates that the horse's hoof-prints in the rock of Friar's Island were those of Saint Patrick's beast -left when the apostle of Ireland was forced to leap one-eighth of a mile from one shore to the other to escape hostile pagans. His charger rose to the challenge and landed with such force on the island that his hoof prints sank deep into the rock (D'Arcy, Montague).  

St. Lugid, Abbot of Clonfert, Ireland,

Who Founded 120 Monasteries

and Wrote a Very Ascetic Rule

Feastday: August 4

(also known as Molua, Lua, Da Lua, Luanus, Lugid, Lughaidh)


Born in Limerick; died August 4, 622. Saint Molua was educated at Bangor under Saint Comgall and was known as a monk, hermit and builder. As Bernard of Clairvaux assures us, Molua founded over 100 monasteries in Ireland, including that of Killaloe (County Clare) and Cluain-Fearta Molua, on the borders of Ossory and Queen's County in Leinster. Saint Molua prescribes a most austere monastic rule that was long observed in Ireland. It enjoined the strictest silence and recollection, and forbade women from approaching the church of the monks. Despite his strict observance of the monastic discipline, he was a man of great tenderness to both man and beast. His principal disciple was Saint Flannan, who succeeded him in the governance of Killaloe. Molua's oratory on Friars' Island, a few hundred yards from the cathedral, was re-erected before the area was submerged by the Shannon hydro-electric works in 1929 (Benedictines, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).

Troparion of St Lugid Tone 4

Renowned for thy virtuous life/ and thy zeal as a founder of

monasteries,/ pray O Father Lugid, that God will raise up monastics in

our day/ to instruct and guide the faithful in their struggles/ that

many souls may be saved.

Information on this page was retrieved from the following sources

©1998 Catholic Online. All Rights Reserved. 

From the Catholic Encyclopedia, copyright © 1913 by the Encyclopedia Press, Inc. Electronic version copyright © 1996 by New Advent, Inc.   


 Ansterbery, Jennie. Chad, Bishop and Saint

Attwater, D. (1983). The penguin dictionary of saints, NY: Penguin Books.

Benedictine Monks of Saint Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate. (1947). The Book of Saints. NY: Macmillan.

Delaney, J. J. (1983). Pocket Dictionary of Saints, NY: Doubleday Image.

Encyclopaedia of Catholic Saints, March. (1966). Philadelphia: Chilton Books.

Gill, F. C. (1958). The Glorious Company: Lives of Great Christians for Daily Devotion, vol. I. London: Epworth Press.