Saint Canice

detail of a stained glass window depicting Saint Canice, created c.1900 by Meyer and Co; Cathedral of Saint Eugene, Derry, Northern Ireland; photographed on 17 September 2013 by Andreas F Borchert; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Caimnech
  • Cainnech
  • Cainnic
  • Canicus
  • Cechan
  • Chainnigh
  • Kenneth
  • Kenny



His father was a distinguished royal bard, and his mother‘s name was Maul. Spiritual student of Saint Finnian of Clonard in 543 with Saint Columba. Spiritual student of Saint Kieran of Conmacnoise, Saint Comgall of Bangor, and Saint Mobhi in 544. Ordained in 545 at Llancarvan, Glamorganshire.

Monk in Glasnevin in 550. Founded the monastery of Agahanoe and served as its abbot. May have founded the monastery of Kilkenny, Ireland, a city named for him. Missionary to Scotland with Saint Columba in 565; known as an effective preacher. Built a church in the place now known as Saint Andrews. He copied out the all four Gospels, and wrote a commentary on them.

Legend says that with a stern word he chased away all the mice on the island of Inish Ubdain, that on En Irish he ordered all the birds to land and stop singing during Mass, and that when he lived as a hermit, a local stag would hold Canice’s Bible in its antlers so the saint could hold his hands aloft when praying.


  • c.525 in Glengiven, County Derry, northern Ireland


  • c.599 at Aghaboe, Laois, Ireland of natural causes




  • man praying with arms raised while a nearby stag holds a Bible in his antlers
  • man ordering birds to stop singing
  • man ordering mice to leave
Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Canice“. CatholicSaints.Info. 8 November 2020. Web. 22 January 2022. <>