24 Facts About Brendan


Brendan is mainly known for his legendary voyage to find the “Isle of the Blessed” which is sometimes referred to as “Saint Brendan's Island”.

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The earliest mention of Brendan is in the Vita Sancti Columbae of Adamnan written between AD 679 and 704.

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Brendan was born in AD 484 in Tralee, in County Kerry, in the province of Munster, in the south-west of Ireland.

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Brendan was born among the Altraige, an Irish clan originally centred around Tralee Bay, to parents called Finnlug and Cara.

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Brendan was baptised at Tubrid, near Ardfert by Erc of Slane, and was originally to be called "Mobhi" but signs and portents attending his birth and baptism led to him being christened 'Broen-finn' or 'fair-drop'.

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Brendan is considered one of the "Twelve Apostles of Ireland", one of those said to have been tutored by the great teacher, Finnian of Clonard.

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Brendan visited Hinba, an island off the Scottish coast, where he is said to have met Columcille.

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Between AD 512 and 530 Brendan built monastic cells at Ardfert, and Shanakeel, at the foot of Mount Brandon.

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On his trip, Brendan is supposed to have seen Saint Brendan's Island, a blessed island covered with vegetation.

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Brendan encountered a sea monster, an adventure he shared with his contemporary Columcille.

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Brendan complies a group of 14 monks who pray together with him in his community to leave with him on his journey.

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One of the first islands that Brendan and his companions come across is an unnamed uninhabited island.

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Brendan's voyages were one of the most remarkable and enduring of European legends.

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The narrative of Brendan's voyage, developed during this time, shares some characteristics with immram.

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The journey began as a punishment by an angel who saw that Brendan did not believe in the truth of a book of the miracles of creation and saw Brandaen throw it into a fire.

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Belief in the existence of Saint Brendan's Island was almost completely abandoned when a new theory arose that the Irish were the first Europeans to encounter the Americas.

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The Saint Brendan Society celebrates the belief that Brendan was the first European to reach North America.

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Brendan travelled to Wales and the holy island of Iona, off the west coast of Scotland; returning to Ireland, he founded a monastery in Annaghdown, where he spent the rest of his life.

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Brendan founded a convent at Annaghdown for his sister Briga.

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Brendan then journeyed to Wales and studied under Gildas at Llancarfan, and thence to Iona, for he is said to have left traces of his apostolic zeal at Kil-brandon and Kil-brennan Sound.

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Brendan died c AD 577 in Annaghdown, while visiting his sister Briga.

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Brendan is a patron saint of boatmen, mariners, travelers, elderly adventurers, and whales, and of portaging canoes.

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Brendan's most celebrated foundation was Clonfert Cathedral, in the year 563, over which he appointed Moinenn as Prior and Head Master.

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The Normans and the many settlers that followed the Norman invasion brought into Sicily the tradition of Saint Brendan; there are very old papers of the 13th century written in Sicily that refer to him; in 1799 the countryside surrounding Bronte became the British "Duchy of Horatio Nelson".

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