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St. Kevin
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St. Kevin

About Saint Kevin of Glendalough

Saint Kevin is commonly known as the Wonder Worker of Ireland. His name is also spelled, Coemgen, Caoimhghin, Coemgemus, and Kavin.

Saint Kevin was born in 498 A.D. in Leinster, Ireland. His parents were nobles and possibly related to the Kings of Leinster. It is said that when Saint Kevin was born, his mother suffered no pain during labor. It was also snowing on the day of his birth but the snow melted as it fell around his house.

An Angel Appears

On the day Saint Kevin was baptized, an angel appeared to his parents. The angel told them to name the infant, Kevin. The priest present at the Baptism said, “This was surely an angel of the Lord, and as he named the child so shall he be called.”

The infant boy was baptized Kevin or Coemgen in the old Irish language. The name Kevin means “He of Blessed Birth”. Saint Kevin was the first person to ever be given that name. As a child, Saint Kevin had a miserable temper and disposition. He didn’t like many people but Saint Kevin loved animals.

Saint Kevin and the Blackbird

When Saint Kevin was seven years old, he was sent to a monastery on Cornwall which was under the supervision of St. Petroc. One day during Lent, Saint Kevin was staying in a small hut in the wilderness. He was praying with his arms stretched wide when a blackbird landed in his hand. It built a nest in the palm of his hand. Saint Kevin remained kneeling in that spot for the entire forty days of Lent so he wouldn’t disturb the blackbird. The bird fed him buries and nuts it collected during the day. At the end of Lent, the eggs were hatched and the birds flew away from the nest. Saint Kevin went back to the monastery.

Saint Kevin Ordained

Saint Kevin was ordained a priest and spent the next seven years alone in the mountains of Glendalough. He lived in a tiny cave which is now referred to as St. Kevin’s Bed. He spent the seven years praying and eating herbs fish that an otter brought to him.


Saint Kevin Founded a Monastery

When Saint Kevin returned to civilization, he began teaching local families about Jesus Christ. At this time, he could not begin a monastery because the king was a pagan. As it happened, King O’Tool had a goose which he loved very much. The goose became old and couldn’t fly. The king asked Saint Kevin to heal the goose. Saint Kevin made the goose young once again and the king allowed him to build a monastery on the spot.

St Kevin Patron Saint
The monastery was built out of rocks in Glendalough. Other monks arrived to teach the people about Christianity and more building were erected.

The Death of Saint Kevin

Saint Kevin died in 618 A.D. at one hundred twenty years of age. No one really knows where Saint Kevin is buried but it is said that a flock of blackbirds fly around a cross which could be a forgotten grave.

Saint Kevin Remembered

Saint Kevin is remembered by Catholics today who wear a Saint Kevin medal or a Saint Kevin pendant honoring this Irish saint. Many baby boys are named Kevin today after the first man who was named Kevin. It is a tradition to give a baby boy who is named Kevin a Saint Kevin medal for a Baptism gift or a young man who takes the name of Kevin for Confirmation will receive a Saint Kevin medallion.

St. Kevin Medal Pendant


St. Kevin


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