St. Declan of Ardmore (Fifth century)

Artist: 
Br. Robert Lentz, OFM

Artist's Narrative:
Little is known of St. Declan, except that he was a prince of the Decius tribe of Celts in Ireland. Years before St. Patrick arrived, he was consecrated bishop of Ardmore in Waterford. Many miracles have been ascribed to him. He is buried in a tiny oratory in Ardmore, near which is his ancient well.

The Celtic peoples found much in Christianity, which reminded them of their native spirituality, and adopted the new religion with relative ease. Their local church, however, was considerably different than the church in Rome in many aspects. Rome struggled for centuries to subdue the Celtic church, finally succeeding with the Norman Conquest of Ireland in the 11th and 12th centuries. St. Declan harkens back to those earliest days when the Irish had their own truly native expression of Christianity.

His feast day is July 24.

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