When Declan fell ill and became weak in body, but still strong in hope and faith and love of God, he returned to his own cityhis people and disciples and clergy surrounding him. He discoursed to them on the commands of God and he enjoined on them to live holily after his death, to be submissive to authority and to follow as closely as possible the way he had marked out and to preserve his city in a state of piety and under religious rule. And when they had all heard the discourse it grieved them greatly to perceive, from what he had said, he realised that in a short time he would go away to heaven from them. But they were consoled by his gentle words and then there came to him the holy man, to wit, MacLiag, at his own request, already referred to. He (Declan) received the Body and Blood of Christ and the Sacraments of the Church from his (MacLiag's) handsurrounded by holy men and his disciples, and he blessed his people and his dependents and his poor, and he kissed them in token of love and peace. Thus, having banished images and the sacrifices to idols, having converted multitudes to the true faith, having established monasteries and ecclesiastical orders in various places, having spent his whole life profitably and holily, this glorious bishop went with the angels to heaven on the ninth day of the Kalends of August and his body was blessed and honoured with Masses and chanting by holy men and by the people of the Decies and by his own monks and disciples collected from every quarter at
p.73the time of his death. He was buried with honour in his own cityin Declan's High-Placein the tomb which by direction of an angel he had himself indicatedwhich moreover has wrought wonders and holy signs from that time to now. He departed to the Unity of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost in Saecula Saeculorum; Amen.