Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Kevin of Glendalough (c. 498–618)

Saint Kevin of Glendalough (c. 498–618)

Patron saint of blackbirds, of the Archdiocese of Dublin, of Glendalough, and of Kilnamanagh

Feast day: June 3

Saint Kevin’s name in Gaelic was Coemgen, meaning "of noble birth." After his ordination as a priest, he began life as a hermit in the little valley called Glendalough (pronounced "Glen-da-lock"). Other seekers of God followed him there, and he formed a monastery.

There are many stories of Kevin, perhaps the most famous of which is of a blackbird laying eggs in his hand. Kevin’s gentle nature and love for God’s creatures was so strong that he waited patiently for weeks for the eggs to hatch.

This image is of the monastery church that still survives in Glendalough, which is now a protected natural area and place of pilgrimage. (From Saints Passionate and Peculiar [Saint Mary’s Press])

(Image in public domain)