SAINT KIARA OF IRELAND
(died around 680 A.D.)
Kiara is an Irish name meaning “Light, clear, first ray of sunshine.” The name has many variations. Among them are Ciera, Chera, Chier, Ciara, Cyra, Keira, Keara, Kiara, Kiera, Ceara, Cier, Ciar. Shortened forms of the name are Kia, Kiyah, Cia, Chia, Chea, and so on.
When your faith is strong and you know that God loves you, you want to share your faith with others. You want them to be as joyful as you are. You want them to find peace in God’s love, just like you did. Saint Kiara wanted others to know about Jesus.
Kiara was born about 600 years after Jesus. We know very little about her childhood or her family. We don’t know if she was born a Christian or if she converted to Christianity.
We do know some very important things about her as an adult. First of all, Saint Kiara wanted to serve God alone. For this reason, she was willing to give up marriage to live as a nun. We don’t know if anyone opposed this decision. In any case, Kiara gave her life to God.
People knew about her faith. They believed in the strength of her prayers. They believed that God listened to her. This is why, when a fire broke out in a small town near where Kiara lived with other nuns, the townspeople did more than try to put out the fire. They sent someone to ask Kiara and the nuns to pray. The fire died out almost immediately. You can imagine that Kiara received many more prayer requests after that!
A monk named Fintan, who also became a saint, knew about Kiara. He had tried to join a monastery. But the abbot told him that God wanted him to begin his own monastery. This Fintan did. Then he founded several other monasteries.
The abbey which Fintan established in Heli in Ireland was a large place. Fintan learned that Kiara and her nuns were not living as well as the monks. So Fintan gave them his monastery and founded another. Fintan asked Kiara to name the monastery after Saint Telle. This she did.
Kiara founded other convents for nuns to live in. She taught the nuns to follow Jesus no matter how difficult that might be. She let them know that faith is more important than life. God can do all things. We need to trust Him and believe Him. We must not expect Him to do things our way but to do them the best way. If we have this faith in God, we will become saints, too.