Irish- Cera of Kilkeary, January 5 2017

Saint Cera of Kilkeary, January 5

On January 5 we commemorate Saint Cera, patroness of the parish which bears her name at Kilkeary, County Tipperary. Canon O’Hanlon tells us what is known of the life of this holy woman and monastic foundress:



We find the name of this holy virgin variously written Ceara, Ciar, Cior, Cyra, and Cera in the Irish Menologies. Our national hagiographist, Colgan, has endeavoured to compile acts of this saint for the 5th of January; but it is probable he fell into mistakes during the process. According to his computation, she must have been born sometime about the middle of the sixth century. It seems more likely, however, that her birth took place about or after the commencement of the century succeeding. The father of this holy virgin was named Duibhre. Her origin is derived from the royal race of Conor, King of Ireland. Both in this island and in Scotland many royal and saintly descendants from this monarch flourished. As founders of families and religious houses many of those personages are distinguished.

St. Cera is said to have been a native of Muscraidhe Thire but in what particular part of the present baronies of Upper and Lower Ormond, in Tipperary county, she was born has not transpired. As she grew, however, the fame of her sanctity and miracles became widely known. A miracle having reference to her is introduced by Colgan, in which it is stated, that at the request of St. Brendan, patron of Clonfert, this holy virgin, St. Cera, by her prayers extinguished a pestiferous fire which had broken out in the region of Muscraidhe Thire.” Her reputation for piety soon drew many virtuous persons to imitate her example. She was then induced to erect a nunnery, which took the name of Cill Ceire from her. It is now known as Kilkeary, near Nenagh, in the barony of Upper Ormond, county Tipperary. Here she governed a community of nuns, but not so early as the sixth century.

There appears to be no sufficient reason for supposing she lived contemporaneously with St. Brendan of Clonfert; [continued]

Source: Omnium Sanctorum Hiberniae: Saint Cera of Kilkeary, January 5