Holy Cow. The Miraculous Animals of the Irish Saints. Part 9, St Sourney and the pig

Its been a while since I added to my series of blog post on the Irish saints and their miraculous animals. This post tells the tale of St Sourney.

St Sourney (Sairnait in Irish), is the patron saint of the holy well and medieval church at Drumacoo, Co Galway. Sourney was a holy woman who lived in Ireland during the sixth century, little is known about her life. She is also the patron of the small early medieval church of Teampall Asurnaí (St Sourney’s Church) at the village of Eochaill on Inismore. Tradition recalls she also founded a monastery at Drumcoo during lifetime. Her feast day was celebrated on the 3rd May.

Folklore recorded in the 1930’s in the schools essays from Ballinderreen Co Galway tells the following tale relating to St Sourney and a pig. The tale showcases the saint’s ability to miraculously bring an animal in this case a pig back to life after the animal had been eaten. Regeneration of special animals, even after they had been butchered and eaten, through the prayers of a saint, is a common theme in the folklore connected to the Irish saints. In this case the saint hoped to collect all the bones from a pig that had been eaten and to put it back together again. The saint’s plan for the pig was foiled by a dog who ate one of the bones from the animal. In anger the saint cursed the people of Drumcoo so that pig or a hound would never live together in Drumacoo.

Two Irish Pig from the Irish Pig Society Facebook page

It seemed Saint Surney ran short of meat one day and she told the girl to kill a pig and so she did. When they had the pig eaten she told the girl to collect all the bones so that she would put the pig together again, she kept a hound and hound ate one of the joints of the tail and the people say that is why every pig has a curl in his tail. Saint Surney was vexed then and she said that a pig or a hound would never live together in Drumacoo and they say for a fact they would not live together either in Drumacoo.

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0033B, Page 03_004– Ballinderreen, Co. Galway

If you would like to read about any of the other Irish saints and their animals follow the links below.

Holy Cow. The Miraculous Animals of the Irish Saints: Part1 St Ciaran’s Cow.

Holy Cow. The Miraculous Animals of the Irish Saints: Part 2 St Manchan’s cow

Holy Cow. The Miraculous Animals of the Irish Saints. Part 3 St Patrick’s cow and the Rian Bó Phádraig

Holy Cow. The Miraculous Animals of the Irish Saints: Part 4 St Ita and her donkey

Holy Cow. The Miraculous Animals of the Irish Saints: Part 5 St Ita and the beetle

Holy Cow. The Miraculous Animals of the Irish Saints: Part 6, the Magical cows of Kilmalkedar

Holy Cow. The Miraculouse Animals of the Irish Saints: Part 7 St Ciarán of Saighir and his cow

Holy Cow. The Miraculous Animals of the Irish Saints: Part 8, St Patrick and his goat

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