was the patron saint of the island of Bute. There was
St. Brendan's haven at Innerbondy. The church of
Eassie in Forfarshire was dedicated to him, and sev-
eral other churches in Scotland rejoiced in him as their
protector. In the calendar of David Camerarius St.
Brendan is titled “The Apostle of the Orkneys and of
the Scottish Isles.””
The greater number of the incidents of the “Naviga-
tio” evidently belong to the first voyage. The legend
tells us that St. Brendan saw many islands on his
course, and almost on every one where he disembarked
he met with anchorites or religious communities origi-
nally from Ireland. Nor is this any wonder if he sailed
along the Irish and the Hebrides Islands, a number of
which were, already at his time, the homes of hundreds
and thousands of Irish monks. He visited the “Sheep
Island,” the name of which is but a literal translation
of the Faroe Islands.” It seems, indeed, that the first
Irish settlers had introduced sheep into this group, and
were disposing of their wool, not only in Norway, but
also on the Mediterranean shores.”
If the pious seafarers were greatly rejoiced on the
“Paradise of Birds” by the plumed singers of God's
glory, we might readily presume that the Shetland
Isles were then, as later, the dwelling-place of mil-
lions of sea-fowl, which, like all other creatures of
the Almighty, praise Him in their own peculiar
The “Hell” from which molten slags of iron were
cast at them singularly reminds us of Iceland's Hekla
volcano; and the hard “crystal column” around which

1 Maii 16, die: Sanctus Brenda- “Fareyr,” or in modern orthogranus, abbas, apostolus Orcadum et phy “Faroe,” signifies “Sheep Scoticarum Insularum. Islands.”

* Far or faer, in the Norse tongue, * Cf. Peschel, Erdkunde, S. 81; means sheep, and ey, island; hence Moosmüller, S. 41 ; Gravier, p. 17.


they sailed is justly considered as an iceberg of the northern seas. Fewer are the particulars of the second voyage. When the large wooden vessel was fitted out, St. Brendan and his companions, to the number of sixty, set sail on a twenty-second day of March, probably about the year 535. Their course lay to the Southwest. They had a fair wind and, therefore, no labor, only to keep the sails properly set; but after twelve days the wind fell to a dead calm, and they had to labor at the Oars until their strength was nearly exhausted. The Saintly captain relieved them by ordering the oars taken in and the sails unfurled, confiding in Divine Providence for the result. On such data it would be difficult to locate St. Brendan's vessel at this stage of her voyage, although one might feel inclined to suppose that she may have reached the neighborhood of the Azore Islands. “Sometimes,” the legend continues, “a wind sprung up, but they knew not from what point it blew, nor in what direction they were sailing.” After forty days they descried an island, and from this one they sailed, under extraordinary circumstances, to other islands, and to others again. After drifting about for a long time they landed once more on a coast where lived a man who had befriended them before. This time “he said to St. Brendan, ‘Embark now in your boat, and fill all the water-skins from the fountain. I will be the companion and conductor of your journey henceforth, for without my guidance you could not find the land you seek, -the Land of Promise of the Saints.” They took provisions for forty days, and sailed to the West for that space of time, during which their guide went on before them. At the end of forty days, towards evening, they were enveloped by a cloud so

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dark that they could scarcely see one another; but after
an hour had elapsed a great light shone around them,
and their boat stood by the shore.”
We may here make the simple remark that, no
matter where their ship had drifted, unless it should
have been far away to the East, the contrary of which
is rather intimated, they necessarily made the Ameri-
can continent after their last partial voyage of forty
days due west.
“When they had reached the shore they disem-
barked, and saw a land extensive and thickly set
with trees laden with fruits, as in the autumn season;
and for forty days they viewed the land in various
directions, but they could not find the limits thereof.
One day, however, they came to a large river flowing
towards the middle of the land,” or in a westerly
direction, “which they could not by any means cross
From these remarks it is evident that they were ex-
ploring, not some western isle, but a western continent,
which can be none other than our own America. And
since they were guided directly towards our shores by
a faithful friend of theirs, it would seem that Mernoc,
Barinthus's son, was not the only Irishman at the
time acquainted with the route across the Atlantic
Others have speculated upon the “river flowing
towards the middle of the land,” and have concluded
that St. Brendan went as far as the Ohio River.
Others have suggested the obvious opinion that the
saint, at his return, has left in this country some of his
sailors, who were not clerics, besides some of his re-
ligious brethren, to whom he gave charge to evangel-
ize the natives; and that the zealous efforts of these
apostles were soon doubled and multiplied by the

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arrival of more Irish settlers and missionaries, who in the course of time extended their labors and peaceful conquests even into Mexico, Central America, and farther still. We, more reserved, will only state that, if the voyage of St. Brendan is not a myth from beginning to end, it is probable, at least, that the saint has crossed the Atlantic Ocean and set foot on the American continent. That, however, the voyage is no myth is sufficiently established by various collateral testimonies. Not only the legend relates the facts, but every version of St. Brendan's Life or History, which is a quite different composition, gives a synopsis of the incidents of the voyages. Particulars of the “Navigatio” are found also in other records, such as that of the whale on whose back the saint is said to have celebrated Easter in midOcean, which is copied in the Life of St. Machutus or Malo;' and of the prayer made by St. Brendan for the preservation of his companions in the midst of a fearful storm; which, considerably enlarged, is found in an ancient manuscript in the monastery of St. Gall, as well as in the former Sessorian Library of Rome, where the following rubric is affixed: “St. Brendan, the monk, when seeking the Land of Promise for seven successive years, made this prayer from the Word of God, through St. Michael the Archangel, while he sailed over the Seven Seas.” An ancient Irish poem states that St. Brendan sailed with a fleet of three vessels, each manned by thirty mariners.” St. Ængus Cele-Dé makes the following invocation in his Book of Litanies, composed before the year 787: “I invoke unto my aid the sixty holy men who accompanied St. Brendan in his quest of the Land of Promise.” " Should we follow Vincent of Beauvais, who rejected the whole legend, we would have to erase several paragraphs from the Lives of a dozen saints, which plainly refer to St. Brendan's voyage. Thus is it related in the Life of St. Brigid that, at his return, St. Brendan asked the holy nun why the monsters of the ocean had become harmless at her invocation. In the Life of St. Abban, the Leinster saint, in the Codex Salmanticensis, we read that he made special friendship of brotherhood with St. Brendan, and that, “soon after the latter's seven years' pilgrimage on the ocean, he paid him a visit, on the occasion of which the holy voyager related at large to his visitor all the wonderful things he had seen on the waters.” St. Molua, in the Life of St. Flannan, appoints the latter as his successor, because “among the many marvellous things the holy Father Brendan had seen and related during his voyage to the islands of the ocean was his prophecy of this succession.” Other references to the voyages of St. Brendan are made in the Histories of St. Fintan Munnu, of St. Malo, and St. Ita.” The most conclusive argument, however, in favor of the reality of St. Brendan's extraordinary “pilgrimages” consists in the fact that there was in the early Irish Church a special festival in honor and commemoration of the “setting sail of St. Brendan's crew.” This feast is fixed, in the Martyrology of Tallaght, for the 22d day of March, and must have been religiously observed long before the year 787, in which the Martyrology was compiled by St. AEngus and St. Moelruin, at Tallaght, near Dublin.

"Acta SS. Bolland., Maii t. iii., * Card. Moran, Acta Sti. BrenAntwerpie. De St. Brendano, cap. dani, ap. O'Donoghue, p. 98. ii. 11, p. 602. * Egerton MS. in British Mu

seum, ap. O'Donoghue, pp. 26, 84.

* “Sexaginta qui comitati sunt ilium meum,” ap. O'Donoghue, p. Stum. Brendanum in exquirenda 84. terra promissionis invoco in aux- * O’Donoghue, pp. 85,247.

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