ST BRENDAN, ABBOT – MEMORIAL: MAY 16
St Brendan was son of Findloga, and a disciple of St Finian at Clonard. Passing afterwards into Wales he lived some time under the discipline of St Gildas, and also several years in the abbey of Llan-Carven, in Glamorganshire. H built in Britain the monastery of Ailech, and another church in a territory called Heth.
Returning into Ireland he founded there several schools and monasteries, the chief of which was that of Cluain-Fearta. He wrote a monastic rule which was long famous in Ireland, taught some time at Ros-Carbre, and died at Enachduin, a monastery which he had built for his sister Briga, in Connaught.
He is named in the Roman Martyrology on the May 16, on which he passed to bliss, in the year 578, in the ninety-fourth year of his age.
Cluain, in the old Irish language signifies a retired or hidden place; and Fearta, wonders or miracles. – Excerpts from Fr. Butler’s “Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints
(this can be prayed as a novena)
Glorious St Brendan, who during thy mortal course here on earth placed all thy glory in the annihilation of thyself before Him, for whose glory, and at whose call you forsook all things, thy country as well as thy people and thy father’s house. Look down now from the bosom of that God Whom thou didst ardently love whilst in this land of danger and sorrow, and forget not the charge thou didst receive when I, thine unworthy client, was committed to thy care, and received thee as patron, protector and advocate with Him Who is so much outraged by my infidelity and imperfection. Animated with firm hope in that charity which consumed thee in the service of thy neighbour, I confidently look up to thee now, where charity is perfect, and implore thee to use thy powerful intercession with thy Creator to obtain for me that succour which I so much need to run faithfully the course on which I have entered. O most compassionate father, behold the barrenness of this garden of my soul, notwithstanding the care the divine husbandman takes to render it fruitful. Let that charity and compassion for the miserable which consumed thee here be excited towards me, who groan under the slavery of my evil habits. Come then, O holy St Brendan, and enable me to do violence to my perverse inclinations, and to pluck up those noxious weeds which disfigure the garden of my soul. Plant and nurture there, I beseech thee, those fragrant flowers which will render to the Heavenly Bridegroom such an odour of sweetness as will constrain Him to make His abode there. I most earnestly beseech thee to obtain for me in an especial manner the virtue of (name it) together with the gift of final perseverance that I may for ever share with thee the reward promised to those who faithfully follow Christ. Amen. – St Anthony’s Treasury, 1916