Posted by: anna | January 18, 2010

St Kiara

Today (5 January) we commemorate St. Kiara (c. 680). Miss Dunbar says:

St. Cera, Jan. 5, Oct 15 (Chera, Chier, Ciara, Cyra, Kiara). V. Abbess. 6th or 7th century.

Under these six names, and perhaps more, and at dates a century apart, two famous virgins of the early Irish Church are honoured. They are often confounded together, and it may be that only one saint is commemorated, and that mistakes in the monastic records have placed her sometimes in one century, sometimes in another. Supposing, with Lanigan, that there were two, the accounts are as follows :

I. At Muscraig, in Momonia, a great fire, with a horrible smell, broke out from the earth. The people applied to St. Brendan to save them from this plague and terror. He told them to go to Cera, by whose prayers they should be delivered. They went to her. She prayed, and the fire disappeared.

II. The other St. Cera, or Cyra, was the daughter of Duibhre, or Dubreus, of the blood of the kings of Connor. When St. Munna, or Fintan Munnu, had lived five years at Heli, a virgin named Chier, attended by five other virgins, came to him, and asked for a place where they might serve God. He and his monks gave up their abode and the work of the place to the nuns, and went away, taking necessaries for the journey in a cart with two oxen. He gave his blessing to Cera, but told her the place should not be called by her name, but by that of the man who, on that day, made three jubilations in Agro Miodhluachrae, ie. St. Telle, the son of Segen. The place was called Tech Telle. Cera died 679. Oneof these SS. Cera founded and governed a famous monastery of nuns at Kilchere, or Kilcren.

There doesn’t seem to be much more information about her life – or their lives – but Kiara is another thread in the weaving together of so many saints’ earthly lives.

Holy St Kiara, pray to God for us.
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