O'Donoghue. Brendan the Voyager in Story and Legend

Today's free book is Brendaniana: St. Brendan the Voyager in Story and Legend by Denis O'Donoghue. For the table of contents, check at the bottom of this post below the image.

The book is available at Internet Archive, Hathi Trust, and Google Books.


The Irish Life of Brendan
with literal English translation on opposite pages: The birth and parentage of St. Brendan; his baptism by Bishop Ere; his nurture for five years by St. Ita; his education and religious training by St. Ere; miracles then wrought by him; his visit to the saints of Erin, ''to learn the rules and practices of a holy life" — he converts St. Colman MacLenin, Patron of Cloyne; his visit to St. Jarlath, Patron of Tuam, and his first missionary labours in Connaught; "the Rule of the religious life" received by him from an angel; his return to St. Ere, for priestly ordination; his admission to monastic profession: his foundation of monasteries in his native district; his spiritual retreats on Brendan-hill; his visions of the "Land of Promise" therefrom; he resolves to sail on the ocean in quest of it; he prepares large vessels for the voyage, which he commences with a crew of chosen monks; the celebration of Easter on the back of the great sea-whale; the perils of the ocean; the tempests allayed by the prayers of the saint.

Notes on Irish Life

The Voyage of Saint Brendan: 
I. St. Brendan, stimulated by the example of St. Barinthus to seek the Land of Promise;
II. St. Brendan and his companions set sail into the ocean;
III. Their first discovery of land;
IV. They visit Sheep-island, and celebrate the Easter festival;
V. The Paradise of birds;
VI. The Island of St. Ailbe;
VII. They visit other islands;
VIII. They are miraculously saved from destruction:
IX. The three choirs of saints;
X. Some wonders of the ocean;
XI. A volcanic island;
XII. Judas Iscariot — Mathew Arnold's Poem;
XIII. The rocky island of the hermit, St. Paul;
XIV. The Paradise of Delights — "St. Brendan's Return," by D. F. M'Carthy.

The Latin Life of Saint Brendan:
Introduction; St. Brendan, after his voyages, founds monasteries in his native district; his foundations at Inisdadromau in the Shannon — at Doora and elsewhere in Clare — his relations with St. Facthna (Fachanan) of Koss — with St. Senan of Iniscathy — with St. Kudhan of Lorrha (North Tipperary), near which he founded a monastery at Tulach-Brenain; his miraculous deliverance of a town in Kerry from a pest of insects; his pilgrimage to Britain — his missionary labours in Cymric Britain (Wales) — in Armoric Britain (Brittany), and in the Orkneys and the Isles of North Britain; he visits St. Gildas the Wise in Brittany; some account of that illustrious saint and of his contemporary, St. Cadoc of Lancarvan, where St. Brendan resided for some years, and where he educated his famous disciple, St. Machutus or Malo; the Breton legend of the voyage of St. Malo; St. Brendan commends the patronage of St. Brigid — his friendly relations with that saint; his return to Ireland after about ten years' absence in Britain, accompanied by many disciples and friends among the Britons; his second missionary visit to Connaught — the numerous Kerry migrations thither about the same time; his brother, St. Faitleac, accompanies him — whom he leaves in charge of his earliest foundation in Connaught at Cluantuascairt (Co. Roscommon); he founds a monastery at Inis-mcic-lchuind (Inisquin) in Lough Corrib — grant of the island to him by King Aedh MacEochaidh; Bishop Moennu, his associate at Inisquin and afterwards bishop-abbot of Clonfert; miracles wrought by St. Brendan at Inisquin; he founds his great church and school at Clonfert in the 77th year of his age; his friendly relations with his foster-mother, St. Ita, maintained — their spiritual colloquys; the holy virgin, St. Chiar, of Muscraidhe-Tire (North Tipperary) performs a great miracle at the request of St. Brendan; he visits the saints of Meath — his early relations with St. Finnian of Clonard, the "Tutor of the Saints of Erin" — he visits the Ard-Kigh Diarmait Mac Cearbhail at Tara; his kindly reception by the King; Diarmait's friendly relations with many of the principal saints of his time — his later conflicts with some of them — solemn excommunication of the King and of Tara, after which "no king or queen ever again reigned at Tara." — St. Brendan, in some of his religious instructions, refers to incidents of his voyages on the ocean; he saves the province of Connaught from an invasion by Munstermen; he founds a convent for nuns at Eanachduin (Aunaghdown) probably before his foundation at Clonfert, and places his sister, St. Bryg, to govern it, under his guidance; he seeks out "deserts in the sea" on Inisgluair, off the coast of Mayo, and on Inisnee, off Connemara, where he builds oratories, the ruins of which yet remain; he trains to holiness at Inisquin his disciple, St. Meldan, who succeeded him in the abbacy there; the birth of St. Fursey, son of Fintan and Gelgeis, in the hospice on the island; his early nurture and education at the monastery by his relative, St. Brendan; the ministrations of St. Brendan at Clonfert — his public preaching there, and his Masses on the Sundays to the latest years of his life; his intimate relations with St. Canice of Kilkenny; his visit to St. Columba, in the company of St. Canice and other eminent saints; his wonderful vision on the occasion; his visitations of the scenes of his early missions in North Britain; his tours of visitation to his religious foundations in Munster and West Kerry at a late period of his life; he retires to his sister's convent at Eanachduin to make immediate preparation for his death; he gives minute instructions for the safe removal of his remains for burial to Clonfert; his holy death on Sunday, May 16th; his solemn obsequies at the church of Clonfert; the widespread devotion to him after his death — the many thousand spiritual children who revere his memory and confide in his intercession.

Legends of Saint Brendan

Vestiges of Prehistoric Irish Settlements in North America

Public Pilgrimage to Brandon Mountain, 1868

Appendix: Early English Lives of Saint Brendan

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