(Died 573)

Brendan studied at the monastic school at Clonard Abbey, a sixth century abbey with some of the most significant names in the history of Irish Christianity.

Brendan was one of the 12 students who studied there under St. Finian, who became known as the Twelve Apostles of Ireland.

Brendan later founded the monastery in Birr in central Ireland in about 540 and served as its abbot. He was known as a holy and hospitable man with an instinctive ability for the judge of character. Considered one of the chief prophets of Ireland, he earned the title “Prophet of Ireland.”

Brendan attended the synod of Meltown, in which St. Columba was brought to trial over his role in the Battle of Cúl Dreimhne in 561. Brendan defended Columba, which led to the more lenient sentence of Columba’s exile rather than excommunication. Their friendship resulted in important connections between Birr and the Columban foundations.

Upon Brendan’s death, it was said that Columba saw a vision of Brendan’s soul being carried away by angels. Columba celebrated a memorial mass for his departed friend and supporter.

Adapted by A.J. Valentini by A.J. Valentini from: Online, C. (n.d.-a). St. Brendan of Birr – Saints & Angels. Catholic Online. Retrieved Nov. 24, 2020, from