Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Life of St. Declan of Ardmore (Author: Patrick Power)

chapter 28

At that time there broke out a dreadful plague in Munster and it was more deadly in Cashel than elsewhere. Thus it affected those whom it attacked: it first changed their colour to yellow and then killed them. Now Aongus had, in a stone fort called 'Rath na nIrlann,' on the western side of Cashel, seven noble hostages. It happened that in one and the same night they all died of the plague. The king was much affected thereat and he gave orders to have the fact concealed lest it should bring disgrace or even war upon him, for the hostages were scions of the strongest and most powerful families in Munster. On the morrow however Declan came to Cashel and talked with Aonghus. The king welcomed him heartily and addressing him said to him in presence of persons of his court, 'I pray you, Declan, servant of God, that


in the name of Christ you would raise to life for me the seven hostages whom I held in bondage from the chieftains of Munster. They have died from the plague of which you hear, and I fear their fathers will raise war and rebellion against me, for they are men of strength and power, and indeed we are ashamed of their death, for they will say that it is we ourselves who killed them.' Declan answered the king, saying to him:—‘Such a matter as this—to raise one to life from death—belongs to Omnipotence alone—but I shall do whatever is in my power. I go where the bodies lie and pray to God for them and let Him do in their regard what seems best to Him.’ Next, Declan, with a multitude and his disciples together with the king's councillors, went to the place where the corpses of the young men lay. The king followed after them until he came in sight of the bodies. Declan, full of divine faith, entered the house wherein they lay and he sprinkled holy water over them and prayed for them in the presence of all, saying:—‘O Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the living God, for thine own name's sake wake the dead that they may be strengthened in the Catholic faith through our instrumentality.’ Thereupon, at Declan's prayer, the group (of corpses) revived and they moved their eyelids and Declan said to them ‘In the name of Christ, our Saviour, stand up and bless and glorify God.’ And at his words they rose up immediately and spoke to all. Declan then announced to the king that they were alive and well. When people saw this remarkable miracle they all gave glory and praise to God. The fame of Declan thereupon spread throughout Erin and the king rejoiced for restoration of his hostages.