Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Canicus, or Kenny, Abbot in Ireland

Saint KennethArticle

The Irish Annals fix the birth of this illustrious saint in 527, and his death in 599. In his youth he studied some time in Wales under a celebrated and holy abbot named Docus, and afterwards in Ireland under Saint Finian, to whose famous school, in his monastery of Cluain-Irraird, the lovers of true wisdom repaired from all sides. The zeal and labours of Saint Kenny, in propagating the practice of Christian perfection throughout Ireland, have ranked him among the most glorious saints whose virtue has been the greatest ornament of that island. Saint Kenny was intimately connected by holy friendship with Saint Columkille, whom he sometimes visited in the isle of Hij. He founded himself the great monastery of Achadbho (or The Ox’s Field) which grew up into a town, and was formerly the seat of the bishops of Ossory, who now reside at Kilkenny, a city which takes its name from this saint, that word signifying Cell or Church of Kenny.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Canicus, or Kenny, Abbot in Ireland”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 12 October 2013. Web. 13 May 2021. <>