Category Archives: Saul Church
Saul is known as the Cradle of Christianity in Ireland. Tradition holds that Saint Patrick and his companions landed at the mouth of the Slaney River, a few miles from here in 432 AD.
Patrick met a chieftain here called Dichu who gave him a barn for shelter. The word for barn in Irish was Sabhall, from which we get the anglicised word Saul. From here Patrick traveled extensively sharing the message of Christianity and we celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day every year on the 17th March because he died at Saul on that day – possibly around the year 461.
Saul is a famous ‘thin place’ where heaven and earth are close together. For more than 300 years following Patrick’s death there was an abbey on this site until it was plundered and burnt by Vikings. In the 12th century Saul was refounded as an Augustinian Priory but it too was later plundered in the 14th century by Edward Bruce. One wall of this abbey remains along with an intact monastic cell in the old graveyard.