The Latin & Irish Lives of Ciaran eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 201 pages of information about The Latin & Irish Lives of Ciaran.


15.  There came then twelve lepers to Findian for their healing.  Findian sent them to Ciaran.  Ciaran welcomed them, and went with them westward from the cell, and tears a sod from the ground, so that a stream of pure water breaks forth from thence.  He poured three waves of the water over each of them, so that they were healed forthwith.


16.  Further, into that school there used to come a stag to Ciaran, and he would place his book on the horns of the stag.  One day there Ciaran heard the bell.  He arose suddenly at the sound of the bell, but still swifter was the arising of the stag, and it went off, with his book on its horns.  Though that day and the following night were wet, and though the book was open, not a letter in it was moistened.  The cleric arose on the morrow, and the stag came to him with his book uninjured.


17.  Now into that school there came Ninned the Squinting, from the lochs of Erne, to read with Findian; and he had no book.  “Seek a book,” said Findian.  Ninned went a-searching round the school, and did not obtain a book from any of them.  “Hast thou gone to the gentle youth on the north side of the lawn?” said Findian.  “I shall go now,” said Ninned.  Now when Ninned reached him, Ciaran was going over the central text of the book of Matthew:  Omnia quaecumque uultis ut faciant homines uobis, ita et uos faciatis illis. “I have come for the loan of a book,” said Ninned.  “Mercy on us,” said Ciaran, “for that do I read this, and this is what the text saith to me, that everything that I would that men should do to me, I should do to all.  Take thou the book,” said Ciaran.  On the morrow his companions asked of him, at the time of the lesson, where his book was.  “He gave it to me,” said Ninned.  “Let ‘Ciaran Half-Matthew’ be his name,” said one of the school.  “Nay,” said Findian, “but Ciaran Half-Ireland; for his shall be half of Ireland, and ours the other half."[21] As Findian said—­

Holy Ciaran zealously under Findian studying pored; Half his book he left unread, half of Ireland his reward.

From this was the well-known saying Non legam Marcum quousque compleueram Mattheum carried to Rome, to Alexander.


18.  Now it came to pass that there was scarcity of corn and sustenance in that school, so that it was necessary for a strong man of them in turn to protect the sack of grain that was being carried to the mill.

It happened that Ciaran, in his turn, was carrying a sack of oats to the mill.  As he was opening the sack, he said, “O Lord,” said he, “I would that this were fine wheat, so that it were a great and a kindly and a pleasant satisfaction to the elders.”  And so it came to pass:  the angel of God took the mill in his hands, and he [Ciaran] was rendering his Psalms in purity of heart and mind, and the oats which were being put in were choice wheat as they were coming out.

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The Latin & Irish Lives of Ciaran from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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