Legends of Wicklow: The Quiet Pilgrim

Legends of Wicklow: The Quiet Pilgrim


The shores of Wicklow have known many travelers over the centuries. Some stayed and some moved on. Ireland has been home to many saints, the most famous being St. Patrick but there was another who could rival his popularity. The patron saint of blackbirds, well-known hermit and founder of one of the great chief pilgrimage destinations in Ireland, Saint Kevin of Glendalough. Ahem…? Hey, do you mind? Kevin came from a well-off family around the area we now call Tallaght. He traveled to the Wicklow hills to find God through solitude and prayer and stumbled upon the beautiful valley of Glendalough. He lived the life of a hermit in a cave for seven years. Silence was something he really enjoyed. Shhh! I said “Shush!” Kevin loved the peace and quiet and if he had his way he would have remained there undisturbed for the rest of his life. But that’s not what happened… I’ve just heard what you did and it sounds amazing! It’s a miracle. What are you talking about? With the boy and the deer’s milk in the woods. It’s amazing! [Humming] Help me. My boy, he needs sustenance. He needs milk. Where am I gonna find milk around here? Ahhh! What the-? [Roar] Ugh… Aha! Don’t even think about it, pal! All I did was feed a hungry child. Trust me, it’s not a big deal. Extra! Extra! Read all about it! “I’m not in it for the doe! Monk makes miracle milk!” I’ll have one! I want a copy! Me, me, me! Back in a sec! And I’m done! One stone tablet at your service. Well, that’s great… but we’re gonna need fifty more. [Sigh] Word got out that a miracle had been performed and naturally people were curious. Excuse me. Yeah? Is this the line for Kevin? No, this is for the leper clinic. People flocked to Kevin; the curious, the sick… and the opportunists. Get yizzer Kevin hoods, two for a bushel! Many legends surround Saint Kevin, one of which says that an angel was sent by God to bestow a name upon him. And you’re sure that’s what God said? Rover? Mm-hm. But that’s a dog’s name! Now dear, who are we to question the will of our Lord? If that’s what God wants, then- [Snickering] I’m just kidding with you – you shoulda seen your faces! It’s Kevin. God said call him Kevin. It seems that Kevin was never far from some sort of miracle, like the time he almost ruined a rare book. [Humming] Ahhh! Oh no! The librarian is gonna be so angry! Fearing it was gone forever no one was more surprised than Kevin to see the book reappear on an otter’s nose! There y’are now, butterfingers! It’s bone dry! Over time, thanks to Saint Kevin, Glendalough grew to become one of the great spiritual centres of Christianity. This did attract some unfavourable attention from the vikings. [Roar] Yoohoo, let me in! Oh dear… However, the locals did eventually manage to resist these invaders with some clever adjustments. I’m back, let me in. Ah here! G’won outta that! Glendalough would eventually grow in popularity for pilgrims, tourists and blackbirds. And Kevin remained in Glendalough and saw out his days seeking the solitude he craved. [Chiselling] I’m finished! Where’s everybody gone? Hello? Hello? [Groan]

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