Saint Brendan was born in the year 484 in County Kerry, Ireland. He was educated in the monastery school at Tuam. When he was 26, he was ordained a priest and undertook several missionary journeys throughout the Scottish Isles and Britain.
An ancient account called Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis (Voyage of Saint Brendan the Abbot) details his travels, and many believe he traveled as far as Canada, making him the first saint to set foot in the Americas, in the 6th century. The account was well known in the Middle Ages, and endures as one of European Christendom's greatest hagiographies.
After returning to Ireland, he founded a number of monasteries. He reposed in 577 while visiting his sister Briga, and he was secretly returned to his beloved Clonfert monastery, where he was buried. A church remains on the site today. His feast is celebrated on May 16.
Offered with the permission of the iconographer.
I first learned of this Saint almost 30 years ago when I was in elementary school. I was always fascinated by his adventure.
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