The Miracle of Scattery

Caoimhin Ó' Danachair National Folklore Collection UCD

In 1864 on the grave of St. Senan an incident occurred, reputedly as follows:

A lady by the name of Mrs Corbett, nee Melican, lived on the island with a family of the McMahons. She was unwell, paralysed in fact, and could not move any of her limbs, though her speech and mind were not affected.

She had a dream that if she slept on St. Senan’s grave she would be cured of her affliction. Her friends gave way to her pleas to be carried to the saint’s grave at nightfall so she may remain there to pray and meditate. Shortly after sun-rise the following morning the lady walked home from the grave completely cured.

The lady explained what happened to her friends and neighbours, the story goes. At about midnight as she prayed she observed a man standing opposite her dressed in the robes of a Bishop and wearing a mitre. The man asked her why she came there and she explained that she believed she could be cured if she spent a night on St. Senan’s grave praying to him to intercede for her with Almighty God, and restore her to health. The man asked if she was afraid and she replied that she was not afraid in such a holy place where she had the protection of St. Senan and God himself.

The man, whom she believed to be St. Senan, then touched her on the forehead and disappeared. The lady fell asleep and awoke in a state of full health and mobility.

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