St Kevin of Glendalough was an Irish abbot. Not much is known of his life. According to records from the middle ages, he was born in 498, the son of aristocrats from Leinster. A legend states that a cow came of its own accord each day to his parents’ house to provide the infant Kevin with milk. He studied under St Petroc of Cornwall. He was ordained and founded the important monastery of Glendalough. Afterwards, he retired to live alone as a hermit in a cave. The place is still called ‘St Kevin’s bed.’ Like St Francis of Assisi, St Kevin had a great affinity with animals and beds, which were his only companions.
After years of isolation, he returned to live with his brethren at Glendalough. He died there in 618. Glendalough soon became an important place of pilgrimage. St. Kevin, though always revered in Ireland, was not canonized until 1903. His feast day is June 3, the anniversary of his death. He is one of the patrons of Ireland.