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Sunday, July 12, 2015

St. Columcille and the Crane from Éire

The Crane from Ireland

One time when Columcille was living in the island of Hil he called to one of the brothers and said "In the morning of the third day from this go down and waft on the shore to the west of the island, for at the ninth hour there will come a stranger, a crane from the north part of Ireland, that has been driven here and there by winds and it will lie down on the strand tired and worn out. And bring it into some neighbouring house" he said "where it will get a welcome, and where you can be minding it and feeding it for three days and three nights. And when it is refreshed" he said 'with the three days' rest and has no mind to stay longer with us it will fly back to the pleasant part of Ireland it came from. And I give this bird to your special care" he said "because it is from our own country it comes." And the brother did as he bade him and tended the crane. And at the end of the third day the crane rose to a great height in the air and stopped for a little while marking out its path to its home. And then it went back across the sea to Ireland as straight as it could fly on a calm day. For Ireland was never out of Columcille's mind and it is what he used to say "The Gael are more to me than all the rest of the men of the world.  Ireland was more to him than any other place.