Also known as St. Ciaran
Born in Roscommon, Connacht
, Kieran left his boyhood home to study at the famous monastery at Clonard in Meath
. From there he went to Aranmore in Galway Bay, where, like most contemporary saints, he communed with the holy abbot Enda. One night, the two men had a shared vision
of a great tree, heavy with fruit, by a stream in the middle of Ireland. Enda interpreted this to mean that Kieran should go and search for such a place and found a church there.
Obeying the vision, Kieran eventually settled at Clonmacnoise
on the Shannon River and established (548) one of the greatest Irish monasteries
, which attracted scholars from all over Europe. Kieran did not direct the monastery for long, however, as he died of a plague in early middle life. Despite Viking raids and a dozen major fires, the monastery
survived for 1,000 years, until it was destroyed by the English in the 16th century.