Irish monk, born in what is now Tralee, in county Kerry, in 484 AD. He was educated under monastic influences and became a priest, but, filled with a great desire to travel, he went on a long journey to the western and northern islands, including the Hebrides, Shetland, and Faeroe Islands, and also to Brittany.
After his return, he traveled with a large party to the continent of Europe and to the Canary Islands, then called the Fortunate Isles. Returning from this second voyage, he founded in 561 the monastery in what is now Clonfert, in county Galway. Later he visited the island of Iona, in the Inner Hebrides, and the mainland of Scotland.
The travels of St. Brendan are the subject of a popular medieval romance, 'The Voyage of Saint Brendan', recounting his fabulous adventures. Influenced by this romance, mapmakers from medieval times into the 18th century included a Saint Brendan's Island on their maps. This island, just south of the Antilles and west of the Cape Verde Islands, was presumed to be his discovery. His traditional feast day is May 16.
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