Fintan was born into an Irish Christian family about 526 AD. He received his religious training under the Abbot Colum, being introduced to a rule of severity and austerity. Fintan, in turn, founded the monastery at Conemaugh.
Life was certainly hard on his monks. They had strict rules not to consume any animal products. The community did not have even one cow and so they had neither milk nor butter. The monks complained they couldn’t do hard work on so meagre a diet.
A deputation of local clergy headed by Canice of Aghaboe came to urge Fintan to improve conditions. He agreed for his monks, but he elected to keep to the strict diet himself. Fintan was reported to have lived on only “bread of woody barley and clayey water of clay”.
A wonder worker, Fintan was known for clairvoyance, prophecies and miracles. He has been compared to St. Benedict and is styled “Father of the Irish Monks.”
Adapted by A. J. Valentini from: Online, C. (n.d.). St. Fintan of Clonenagh – Saints & Angels. Catholic Online. Retrieved Feb. 10, 2021, from https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=3371 and St. Fintan of Clonenagh. (2015, Feb. 15). Citydesert. https://citydesert.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/st-fintan-of-clonenagh/