We’re not all of us Irish or of Irish descent, but I’ve got to say something about this, haven’t I?
What do we know about the old Irish hermit and later monk and abbot? I’m going to create a short summary based on the entry by Mr. Patrick Duffy here. Find the entire story by clicking that link.
Caoimhin was born around AD 500 and might have lived over a century, which would not be terribly unusual for one with a mind to live the life of a hermit. He was given the name Coemgen (corrupted to Kevin) at baptism and is best remembered from his youth for his love of animals and for his love of solitary prayer. This obviously is the basis of the legends, such as the story of his being so very still in prayer as to allow a bird to nest in one of his hands and even lay an egg in the nest. He was given primary education at the monastery at Kilnamanagh, but he soon sought out the solitude of the hermit and ended up at Glendalough. He later returned to Kilnamanagh and was ordained eventually by the bishop Lugidius, although he continued to seek the eremitical life at Glendalough. The holy man attracts souls, and the hermitage soon became a monastic community, and long afterwards a monastic city. He died in seclusion, accompanied only by the animal life that was his constant companion. S. Kevin is the patron saint of the archdiocese of Dublin. The picture is of a church dedicated to him at Glendalough.