Although my examples are not precisely abortions, they have the same
effect (a pregnant woman becomes thin again, with no child in sight)
after miraculous delivery by saints. I will be happy to forward references
to Maeve (or other interested) in exchange for precise refs.
to these Irish examples.
> No claims to being an expert, but . . .
> Shortly before his birth, a prophetess declared that if he were born at
> dawn, he would be great before God and humanity, in heaven and on earth.
> His mother decided "Vere, nisi per latera mea venerit, non egredietur ex
> utero meo, donec illa hora veniet." So she sat on a rock, hoping to delay
> the delivery until the right time. Sure enough, he was born at dawn while
> his mother was still sitting on the rock, too worn out to move. His head
> indented the rock, forming a bullaun, a concave rock holding holy water,
> believed to have exceptional healing powers due to its connection with the
> saint's birth. A virtually identical story is told of Déclán, and bullauns
> figure in other saints' Lives.
> One of the things that interests me the most about Áed mac Bricc is his
> connection with a miraculous non-birth, his performance of a miraculous (for
> want of a better word) "abortion," an ability he shares with three other
> Irish saints (Ciarán of Saigir, Cainnech of Achadh Bó, and Brigid), a
> miracle that to my knowledge is unique to these four Irish saints. His Life
> in the Codex Salmanticensis relates that when he visited a community of
> nuns, he noticed that the womb of one of the consecrated virgins serving him
> "grew quickly without food, as if it might flee from that place. Then she
> confessed before all that she had sinned secretly and she did penance. St.
> Áed blessed her womb, and at once the baby (infans) in her womb disappeared
> as if it did not exist." (cito surrexit ille sine cibo, ut ab isto fugeret.
> Tunc illa coram omnibus confessa est quod occulte peccasset et penitentiam
> egit. Sanctus autem Aidus benedixit uterum eius, et statim infans in utero
> eius evanuit quasi non esset.) The vita in the Codex Kilkenniensis retains
> the story but omits reference to the disappearing fetus, and even the
> version told in his Life in the CS is far milder than that told of Ciarán,
> who "cured" the pregnancy of a nun who had been abducted by a neighboring
> king; "When the man of God returned to the monastery with the girl, she
> confessed that she was pregnant. Then the man of God, led by the zeal of
> justice, not wishing the serpent's seed to quicken, pressed down on her womb
> with the sign of the cross and forced her womb empty." (Reverente vero vir
> Dei cum puella ad monasterium, confessa est puella se conceptum habere in
> utero. Tunc vir Dei, zelo iustitie ductus, viperium semen animari nolens,
> impresso ventri eius signo crucis, fecit illud exinaniri.) These Irish
> legends are similar to the tale of the Nun of Watton, but there we have
> miraculous childbirth, here miraculous "abortion." Does anyone know of
> similar miracles told of other saints?
> At 02:31 PM 11/11/99 -0400, you wrote:
> >Can any of the Irish experts out there provide details of the
> >miraculous birth?
> >> * Aedh Mac Bricc, bishop (589)
> >> - after a miraculous birth, he worked with his father's pigs until
> >> meeting saints Brendan of Birr and Canice, then Illathan
> >> - worked many extravagant miracles, including transporting himself
> >> through the air
> >> * Justus, archbishop of Canterbury (c. 627)
> >> - accompanied Augustine of Canterbury in England; first bishop of
> >> Rochester; before his death he consecrated St Paulinus
> >> * * * * * * * * * *
> >> Dr Carolyn Muessig
> >> Department of Theology and Religious Studies
> >> University of Bristol
> >> Bristol BS8 1TB
> >> UK
> >> phone: +44(0)117-928-8168
> >> fax: +44(0)117-929-7850
> >> e-mail: [log in to unmask]
> >Margaret Cormack [log in to unmask]
> >Dept. of Philosophy and Religion fax: 843-953-6388
> >College of Charleston tel: 843-953-8033
> >Charleston, SC 29424-0001
Margaret Cormack [log in to unmask]
Dept. of Philosophy and Religion fax: 843-953-6388
College of Charleston tel: 843-953-8033
Charleston, SC 29424-0001