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Four Irish Saints are accredited to performing abortions, otherwise known as the ‘Abortion Miracle’ motif. These four Saints are St. Brigid of Kildare, Ciarán of Saigir, Áed mac Bricc, and Cainnech of Aghoboe. In each of these four Saints lives they share a similar motif in which they bless a mother’s womb resulting in the mother no longer being pregnant. These ‘abortion miracles’ created structured gender roles in which a masculine figure would partake in the intervention of a female and a female’s reproductivity. The intervention of the Saints would come when the women would start to become visually pregnant and would be seen as someone who had committed ‘sexual sin’.
Course: English 415 – Seminar in Literature
Grand Forks, ND
Irish, Hagiographies, Abortion ‘Miracle Motif’, Saints, St. Brigid
Literature in English, British Isles | Medieval Studies
Horner, Lora Lynn, "How The ‘Abortion Miracle’ Motif In Medieval Irish Hagiographies Structured Gender Roles In Relation To Female Reproductivity And Sexual Sin" (2018). Essential Studies UNDergraduate Showcase. 19.