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St. Ciarán the Elder

Saint Ciarán the Elder

Bishop & Confessor

Ciarán was born in County Cork in the fourth or fifth century, and is considered the first of all saints born in Ireland. At some point he journeyed to Rome in order to properly learn the Catholic faith. Some accounts say that he was consecrated a bishop on the continent, but others maintain that he was consecrated by St. Patrick himself once Ciarán had returned to Ireland. In either case, Ciarán served the Irish people as both a bishop and an abbot, having founded a monastery at Seir Kieran, and he is regarded as the first bishop of what is now the Diocese of Ossory. Ciarán’s widowed mother took the religious veil at the hands of her own son. In several traditional sources Ciarán has been identified with St. Piran, a patron of Cornwall who shares this feast day and several similarities in the accounts of their lives, though many scholars contend that they were indeed two distinct saints. Some traditional accounts also claim, perhaps controversially, that St. Ciarán’s activities in Ireland actually preceded St. Patrick’s mission, though there is no certainty either way.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for March 5th

AT Antioch, the birthday of the martyr St. Phocas, who triumphed over the old serpent after many injuries which he suffered for the name of the Redeemer. That triumph is still manifested to the people in our days; for if any one stung by a serpent, touches with faith the door of the martyr’s basilica, the power of the venom disappears, and he is immediately cured.

At Caesarea, in Palestine, in the persecution of Diocletian, St. Adrian, martyr, who, being first exposed to a lion for the faith of Christ and then killed with the sword by order of the governor Firmilian, received the crown of martyrdom.

The same day, the passion of the holy martyrs Eusebius, officer of the imperial palace, and nine others.

At Caesarea, in Palestine, in the time of the emperor Severus, St. Theophilus, bishop, who was conspicuous by his wisdom and the purity of his life.

Also in Palestine, on the banks of the Jordan, the anchoret St. Gerasimus, who lived in the time of the emperor Zeno.

At Naples, the decease of St. John Joseph of the Cross, Promoter and first Provincial of the Italian branch of the Order of Discalced Minorites of St. Peter of Alcantara, who, by emulating the virtues of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Peter of Alcantara, became a new ornament of the Seraphic Order. He was canonized by pope Gregory XVI.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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