This saint, who is sometimes called St. Canice or Kenny, lived in the sixth century. He was born in Ireland and is famous in both Ireland and Scotland. His father was a bard, that is, a professional singer of ballads and stories in song. As a young man, Kenneth went to Wales to study for the priesthood. St. Cadoc was his teacher. After he became a priest, he went to visit Rome. He then returned to Ireland to study at the school of St. Finnian. Kenneth became good friends with three other Irish saints-Kieran, Comgall and Columba.
After preaching throughout Ireland, St. Kenneth went with St. Columba to Scotland on a mission to the pagan King Brude. When this king angrily seized his sword to strike the two missionaries, it is said that St. Kenneth made the sign of the cross, and a miracle took place. The king's hand was suddenly paralyzed, and the saints were saved. St. Kenneth and St. Columba were always close friends. Once Columba was sailing with some companions. Kenneth was far away in his monastery in Ireland. Suddenly he became aware that Columba was in great danger at sea. He jumped up from the dinner table and ran to church to pray for his beloved friend. Out at sea, Columba cried to his frightened companions: "Don't be afraid! God will listen to Kenneth. Right now he is running to church with only one shoe on to pray for us!" And as he said, they were saved.
St. Kenneth started several monasteries and converted many nonbelievers. He became famous for his zealous preaching of the Gospel. Even more, he became well-known for the perfect way in which he himself practiced the teachings of Jesus.
Although Kenneth and Columba often worked in different places, they knew that prayer is a powerful expression of friendship. What would happen if I prayed more often for my friends and those who are close to me?