St. Samthann[1]

Saint Samantha is a Celtic saint born in 739 A.D.  She had an important influence on the Celtic Christian Community.  Her more formal name is St. Samthann of Clonbroney.

Samantha was the foster child of a man named Cridan who was an Irish king.  He had arranged a marriage to an Irish nobleman, but Samantha was against this arrangement.

On her wedding night, Samantha persuaded her new husband to put off the consummation of the marriage until all of the guests had left the wedding celebration.  Being the spiritual young woman that she was, she prayed fervently to God, begging that He would deliver her from this marriage.

In response to her prayers, it is said that the Lord caused a fire to burn in the presence of the wedding guests.  It frightened the wedding guests and distracted Cridan, and Samantha was able to escape.

After searching widely and eventually finding him, Samantha  upbraided Cridan for forcing her into a marriage against her will.  Finally the king gave in and asked Samantha who she would like to marry.  Her response was that the only man that she would marry was God.  She entered the convent, with St. Cognat serving as her spiritual director.

In her lifetime, St. Samthann participated in many prophetic words of knowledge, miracles, and healings.  She also was a spiritual advisor and friend to a young monk named Maelruin in the Ceile De Religious Community, who was instrumental in bringing about reform within Celtic Christianity.

One of Saint Samthann’s miracles that she performed while she was a nun is quoted from

“When Samthann hired a carpenter to build an addition to the Convent, the worker was very hungry and had not had a meal for several days. The worker was dreaming about bread, cheese and butter for himself and his co-workers. Several days after, Samthann made his secret wish come true, exactly how he saw it in his dreams.”

Samthann went on to advise and help steady other spiritually-minded people of her day.  Though she was not a martyr and did not stand out from the other Christians living during that time, she was a woman who was faithful to her calling with the other saints in Celtic Ireland.

Samantha’s feast day is December 18th, and she is the Patroness of Spiritualness.