Saint Ciaran: The Tale of a Saint of Ireland

Overview

Of all green Ireland’s saints, Ciaran of Saighir was the first. Born early in the sixth century, Ciaran was called to bring the light of God’s name to a dark Ireland that had not yet heard it. While few facts are known of Ciaran’s life, author Gary Schmidt here tells the tale that lives on, a tale which is "as true as any story ought to be." Illustrated with luminous oil paintings by Todd Doney, Saint Ciaran is a remarkably beautiful story, full of faith and wonder, miracles and...
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Overview

Of all green Ireland’s saints, Ciaran of Saighir was the first. Born early in the sixth century, Ciaran was called to bring the light of God’s name to a dark Ireland that had not yet heard it. While few facts are known of Ciaran’s life, author Gary Schmidt here tells the tale that lives on, a tale which is "as true as any story ought to be." Illustrated with luminous oil paintings by Todd Doney, Saint Ciaran is a remarkably beautiful story, full of faith and wonder, miracles and mysteries.
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Editorial Reviews

GraceAnne A. DeCandido
In the mouth-filling cadences of Gaelic, with some of the more difficult words made clear in context, Schmidt tells the story of the sixth-century Irish saint Ciaran. . . . The sweet legends of Ciaran's life -the star that fell into his mother's mouth, the bell that rang when he reached his destination, and more- are woven into the story. Ciaran matures from beautiful boy to grizzled elder in Todd Doney's rich, fully realized oil paintings, rendered in a beautiful impressionist technique. . . . A beautiful picture book for older children.
Booklist
School Library Journal
While this saint's story is full of wonders, Doney's stunning oils are the true marvels here. Suffused with light and brimming with color, these illustrations combine a sense of unspoiled time gone by with one of utter immediacy. A gently moving tribute to a lesser-known saint.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Profiling the sixth-century Saint Ciaran of Saighir, first saint of Ireland, Schmidt (The Blessing of the Lord) piles on more information and ideas than his picture book can hold. On the one hand, the whole of Ciaran's life story, as presented here, appears to be ideal subject matter--from the falling star his mother seemingly swallows before his birth, to the bell Saint Patrick gives him in Rome (it will peal only when Ciaran reaches "the flowing spring of Saighir"), to his fellowship with wild animals. But the individual components of the story demand more attention than Schmidt allots. The phrasing itself raises questions: the boy Ciaran prays "to a God whose name had never been heard in Ireland" and "to the God whose name he did not know." Ciaran is somehow drawn to Rome, but Schmidt stops short of stating that he is answering a calling; readers may wonder how or why "Ciaran's eyes looked to the east." While the mixture of legend, history and faith follows Irish tradition, most readers will be hard pressed to make sense of it. The presentation, however, is quite handsome. Doney's (Red Bird) slightly hazy oil paintings depict a rugged green countryside of unspoiled beauty. His use of bright and dappled sunlight and cool shadow gives depth to the scenes here. All ages. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature
Schmidt brings to life the legend of the first saint of Ireland, who discovered his calling as a child while watching a hawk carry a dove out of its nest. Ciaran "held his hands upward and prayed to a God whose name had never been heard in Ireland." As he did so, the hawk laid the dove at Ciaran's feet. Even as he prayed to this God, he had a great longing to travel east. When he did so, he went to Rome where he was baptized and met Patrick who told him to return to Ireland. Upon his return, Ciaran built a hermitage where the forest animals came to assist him and the monks of the community thrived. Schmidt's legend of St. Ciaran combines the closeness with nature, so strong in the Celtic culture, with the faith and piety of the people who embraced the Catholic faith. The smoothly flowing text is accompanied by vibrant, light-filled oil paintings that recreates calm, pastoral settings of Ireland and then contrasts them with the scenes of the city of Rome. This just begs to be read aloud and shared with a group. 2000, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, $18.00. Ages 5 up. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
K-Gr 5-With muted tones and quiet words, this story tells the legend of Ciaran, the first Irish saint. Born years before Saint Patrick came to Ireland, he spent his youth praying to "the God whose name he did not know," and traveled to Rome as a young man. He returned to Ireland to build a hermitage at Saighir and was soon joined by a band of animals that followed him everywhere, even kneeling to pray with him. Eventually his hermitage became a monastery, as his name spread and more and more people traveled to see this holy man. While this saint's story is full of wonders (he was supposedly born from a star that flew down his mother's throat), Doney's stunning oils are the true marvels here. Suffused with light and brimming with color, these illustrations combine a sense of an unspoiled time gone by with one of utter immediacy. A gently moving tribute to a lesser-known saint.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, Eldersburg, MD Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802851703
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 9/1/2004
  • Pages: 40
  • Product dimensions: 11.31 (w) x 10.29 (h) x 0.39 (d)

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