Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/838

This page needs to be proofread.


BRENACH


758


BRENDAN


WATTEyBACH (Leipzig, 1888); Lappenberg. Geschichtsquelten des Erzstifts Bremen (Bremen, 1841); Wiedemann, Da^ Herzoglum Bremen (2 vols., 1866); Von Hodenberg, Bremer Geschichlsguellen (3 parts, Celle, 1856-68); Bremer, Ur- kunrlrnbuck. eil. Ehmck and Bippen (5 vols., Bremen, 1873- 1902); Bremischen Jahrbiicher (21 vols., Bremen, 1684-1906); Von Bippen, Geschichte der SUidt Bremen (3 vols., Bremen and Halle, 1894-1901); Bichenau, Die p-eie Hansesladl Bremen und ihr Gehiel (3d eil.. Bremen. 1900); Von Schubert. Hamburg, die Missionsmctropole des Nordens (Bremen, 1904).

Joseph Lins.

Brenacb, S.*.int, an Irish missionary in Wales, a contemporary of St. Patrick, and among the earliest of the Irish saints who laboured among the Celts of that country. About the year 418 he travelled to Rome and Brittany, and thence to Milford Haven. He erected various oratories near the rivers Cleddau, Gwain, and Cainan, and at the foot of Cam Engyli, or "Mountain of the Angels", which was his most famous foundation. Among his converts was Brecan (an Irish chief), the ruler of South Wales, about the year 425, and this Brecan is reckoned by the "Triads" as a saint, who founded mmierous churches in Breck- nockshire, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Den- bighshire, and Anglesey. From the Welsh "Lives" we learn that St. Brenach died 7 April, on which day his feast is celebrated. His church, overhanging the Severn, is a lasting memorial of the Irish pilgrim who was the instrument under God for the conversion of a great part of Wales.

Rees. Lires of the Cambro-Brilish Saints (Llandovery, 1853); In., Essay on the Welsh Saints (1836); Williams, Ecclesiastieal Antiquities of the Cymry; Id.. The Welsh Triads; Moran, Irish Saints in Great Britain (1903). new edition; Fenton, Pem- brokeshire; Acta SS., I, .\pril; Martt/rologium Anglicanum; O'Hanlos, Lives of the Irish Saints. IV, 7 April.

W. H. Gr.\tt.\n Flood.

Brenan, Mich.\el, John, ecclesiastical historian, b. in Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1780; d. at Dublin, Feb- ruary, 1847. He was the son of a stonemason and after his ordination to the priesthood, speedily ob- tained reputation as a preacher, but, owing to his vanity and pride, came into collision with his bishop, and was suspended. He then left the Church, be- came a Protestant, and was taken up by the Priests' Protection Society imder whose auspices he was announced to preach in St. George's Church, Dublin. In the meantime he reconsidered his position and repented of his folly. He resolved to make public reparation for his fault, and on the Sunday in 1809, when he was announced to commence his campaign against the Church, he ascended the pulpit of St. George's, began by blessing himself most reverently, and then to the relief of his audience took up the Bible, and said "This is the Word of God". After a brief pause, he added deliberately and earnestly, "And I swear by its contents that every word I have uttered against the Catholic Church is a lie", and at once left the building. He went to a neigh- bouring Capuchin friary, explained what had hap- pened, and begged to be admitted into the order. After some time, his prayers were granted, and he became a Franciscan at Wexford where in later years he wrote (as a penance, it is said) his valuable "Ecclesiastical History of Ireland" (2 vols., Dublin, 1840, re\'ised ed., 1864).

Hogan, History of Kilkenny (pulpit incident reproduced in Ossory Archceological Society Journal, 1879), 423-425; Mirror files (Waterford, 7 November, 1809).

D. J O'DONOGHUE.

Brendan, S.^int, of Ardfert and Clonfert, known also as Brendan tlie Voyager, b. in Ciarraighe Lu- achra. near the present city of Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland, in 484; d. at Enachduin, now Annaghdo\\Ti, in ,')77. He was baptized at Tubrid, near Ardfert, by Bishop Ere. For five years he was educated un- der St. Ita, "the Brigid of Munster", and he com- pleted his studies under St. Ere, who ordained him priest in ,512. Between the years 512 and 530 St. Brendan built monastic cells at Ardfert, and at Shan-


akeel or Ballynevinoorach, at the foot of Brandon Hill. It was from here that he set out on his famous voyage for the Land of Delight. The old Irish Calendars assigned a special feast for the "Egressio familis S. Brendani", on 22 March; and St. Aengus the Culdee, in his Litany, at the close of the eighth century, invokes "the sixty who accompanied St. Brendan in his quest of the Land of Promise". Naturally, the story of the seven years' voyage was carried about, and, soon, crowds of pilgrims and students flocked to Ardfert. Thus, in a few years, many religious houses were formed at Gallerus, Kilmalchedor, Brandon Hill, and the Blasquet Islands, in order to meet the wants of those who came for spiritual guidance to St. Brendan.

Having established the See of Ardfert, St. Brendan proceeded to Thomond, and founded a monastery at Inis-da-druim (now Coney Island, Coimty Clare), in the present parish of Killadysert, about the year 550. He then journeyed to Wales, and thence to lona, and left traces of his apostolic zeal at Kilbran- don (near Oban) and Kilbrennan Sound. After a three years' mission in Britain he returned to Ireland, and did much good work in various parts of Leinster, especially at Dysart (Co. Kilkenny), Killiney (Tub- berboe), and Brandon Hill. He founded the Sees of Ardfert, and of Annaghdo%vn , and established churches at Inchiquin, County Galway, and at Inishglora, County Mayo. His most celebrated foundation was Clonfert, in 557, over which he appointed St. Moinenn as Prior and Head Master. St. Brendan was interred in Clonfert, and his feast is kept on 16 May.

W. H. Grattan Flood.

Voyage op Saint Brendan. — Saint Brendan belongs to that glorious period in the history of Ireland when the island in the first glow of its con- version to Christianity sent forth its earliest mes- sengers of the Faith to the continent and to the regions of the sea. It is, therefore, perhaps possible that the legends, current in the ninth and committed to WTiting in the eleventh century, have for foundation an actual sea-voyage the destination of which cannot however be determined. These adventures were called the "Navigatio Brendani", the Voyage or Wandering of St. Brendan, but there is no his- torical proof of this journey. Brendan is said to have sailed in search of a fabled Paradise with a company of monks, the number of which is variously stated as from 18 to 150. After a long voyage of seven years they reached the "Terra Repromis- sionis", or Paradise, a most beautiful land with luxuriant vegetation. The narrative offers a wide range for the interpretation of the geographical po- sition of this land and with it of the scene of the legend of St. Brendan. On the Catalonian chart (1375) it is placed not very far west of the southern part of Ireland. On other charts, however, it is identified with the "Fortunate Isles" of the ancients and is placed towards the south. Thus it is put among the Canary Ishmds on the Herford chart of the world (beginning of the fourteenth century); it is substituted for the island of Madeira on the chart of the Pizzigani (1367), on the Weimar chart (1424), and on the chart of Beccario (1435). As the in- crease in knowledge of this region proved the former belief to be false the island was pushed further out into the ocean. It is found 60° west of the first me- ridian and very near the equator on Martin Behaim's globe. The inhabitants of Ferro, Gomera, Madeira, and the Azores positively declared to Columbus that tliey had often seen the island and continued to make the assertion up to a far later period. At the end of the sixteenth century the failure to find the island led the cartographers Apianus and Or- telius to place it once more in the ocean west of Ireland; finally, in the early part of the nineteenth