Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Kiaran, Abbot in Ireland


He was converted by hearing a passage of the gospel read at church. He put himself under the discipline of Saint Finian, who, admiring his great proficiency and fervour, foretold that half the monasteries of Ireland would receive a rule from him. Saint Kiaran afterwards founded a numerous monastery in the isle of Inis-Aingean, which was bestowed on him by king Dermitius. Committing the government of this house to another, he built, by the liberality of the same king, another great monastery and school in West Meath, called Cluain-Macnois, on the river Shannon, which soon became a bishop’s see, Allemagne in his inaccurate Monasticon Hib. thinks in the life-time of our saint; but Cummian, in his letter to the abbot Segienus in the seventh century, does not give him the title of bishop. The monastic rule, or, as it is called in the Annals of Ulster, the Law of Kiaran, was very austere. This saint died on the 9th of September in 549, and was honoured as chief patron of Connaught in the same manner as Saint Brigit was of Leinster. See his Acts quoted by Usher, Antiq. p. 471, Suysken the Bollandist, t. 3, Sept. p. 370 to 383. Sir James Ware, etc.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Kiaran, Abbot in Ireland”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 27 August 2014. Web. 21 January 2019. <>