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St Brendan (484—577) Irish abbot


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(early 6th century),

Irish bishop. Little is known of his life. He obtained for Enda the gift of an Aran Island (Co. Galway) from King Angus of Munster; he is reputed to have written a monastic Rule; above all, he was a travelling evangelist who preached mainly in southern Ireland. He is the reputed founder of the see of Imlech (Emly, Co. Tipperary).

Legendary accretions credit him with having been suckled by a she-wolf, and with having retired, late in life, to the mythical Land of Promise, a blend of the Christian Paradise and the Celtic happy other-world. Feast: 12 (13) September.

V.S.H., II, xxviii–xxxi. 46–64;L. Gougaud, Christianity in Celtic Lands (1932);J. O'Neill, ‘The Rule in Ailbe of Emly’, Eriu, iii (1907), 92–115.

Subjects: Christianity.

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