St Kieran (Ciaran) the Elder was a 6th-century Irish missionary and the first bishop of Ossory. He was born of royal blood. His mother is said to have received a vision prophesying that his fame and virtue would be known throughout the world. The young Kieran went to France to study and then went on to Rome. At Rome, he discovered Christianity and was baptized. He met St Patrick, the great Apostle of Ireland, who told him to go ahead of him to Ireland and found a monastery. A legend says that a little bell rung of its own according to the place where he built the monastery.
Kieran sought a life of prayer and solitude, ad retired to live in a cave. But people followed him on account of his great virtue. The town of Ossory grew around his hermitage and Kieran became its bishop. He died peacefully around 530. His feast day is March 5. He is patron of the town of Ossory.
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