Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 23 January |
Saint of the Day: St. Marianne Cope
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Did you know St. Patrick's sister is also a saint?

SAINT PATRICK

Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. | Flickr CC by NC ND 2.0

Philip Kosloski - published on 03/17/19

According to local traditions, St. Darerca was a holy woman who had her own role in evangelizing Ireland.

While St. Patrick is often credited as single-handedly converting the entire nation of Ireland, he actually received some help from his own relatives. In addition to his nephew, Patrick was also accompanied by his sisters, who did what they could to help establish Christianity on the island.


SAINT PATRICK

Read more:
How St. Patrick’s nephew became a saint

Local traditions identify one of St. Patrick’s holy sisters as “Darerca,” who may have been among those kidnapped and taken into slavery earlier on in the siblings’ life. It is said that Darerca became the mother of many children (some traditions say 17 children total); most of them were boys.

These boys eventually became influential in establishing the Church in Ireland as they became bishops throughout the country. Furthermore, many of these bishops are regarded as saints, such as Saint Mel of Ardagh, Saint Rioc of Inisboffin, Saint Muinis of Forgney, and Saint Maelchu.

The Catholic Encyclopedia also states “St. Darerca had two daughters, St. Eiche of Kilglass and St. Lalloc of Senlis. Her first husband was Restitutus the Lombard, after whose death she married Chonas the Briton.”

According to these traditions, the evangelization of Ireland was a “family affair” and the great Apostle of Ireland received much help from his own relatives.


ALL SAINTS

Read more:
Meet the family and their friends that gave the Church at least a dozen saints

However, little is definitely known about his sisters (there is also a St. Lupita who is recorded as his sister), and many traditions diverge as to the exact details of who they were and what they did. Whatever the truth may be, the Irish people passed down to each generation stories of St. Patrick’s sisters and regarded them as holy women. They made a lasting impact on the island, one that endures to this day.


IRELAND,CROSS

Read more:
Ireland: The land of saints, scholars and martyrs




Read more:
Did St. Patrick expel snakes from Ireland?

Tags:
IrelandSaints
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
2
DAD, HOW DO I?
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on YouTube for kids with...
3
Philip Kosloski
What are the corporal works of mercy?
4
Philip Kosloski
When did Christians start praying the Hail Mary?
5
PHILIP RIVERS
Cerith Gardiner
Quarterback Philip Rivers' retirement announcement reflects his s...
6
CONSOLE
Philip Kosloski
What are the spiritual works of mercy?
7
EMOTIONAL
Bret Thoman, OFS
Need healing? An exorcist recommends this 12-word prayer
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.