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Samthann was a maiden of Ulster, Ireland entrusted by her family to the guardianship of the Irish king Cridan. Although she did not want to marry, the king betrothed her to a nobleman. On the night before the wedding, the nobleman, while lodged at King Cridan’s castle, awoke to the sight of a shaft of light piercing the roof of the royal residence. After rising to see where the light led, he found that it descended into Samthann’s room and bathed her face with a “heavenly light” as she slept. This miraculous incident together with another following the wedding persuaded the nobleman and King Cridan to accede to Samthann’s desire to consecrate her virginity to God. The king told her, “We bestow you in marriage and join you to God, the spouse of your choice.” Samthann became abbess of the convent of Clonbroney. Many miracles were attributed to her. When a worker hired by Samthann to build an oratory silently wished for himself and his co-workers a feast of forty bread loaves with butter, cheese, and milk, he was soon stunned to see this dream meal brought to them. Giggling at his astonishment, Samthann said to him, “The thought of your heart is fulfilled, is it not?”


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