Friday, December 12, 2008

Feast day of St Finnian of Clonard

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted

Also known as Finian; Finden; Teacher of the Irish Saints

Finnian (pictured; 'Fionáin' in Irish, [c. 470 - 549]) founded three churches in Ireland while still a layman; he studied in Wales under St Cadoc and St Gildas. He is often called the 'Teacher of Irish Saints' and, at one time, had as pupils at Clonard the so-called Twelve Apostles of Ireland, including St Columba of Iona, St Ciaran (Kieran) of Clommacnois, and St Brendan the Voyager. He is known as the father of Irish monasticism.

Birds would gather around him because of his piety and gentleness. He is reported to have cleared parasitic insects, worms and vermin from the island of Flat Holm and the regions of Nantcarfan (Llancarfan). One story says that he fended off a party of Saxon raiders by causing an earthquake to swallow their camp. Finnian died of plague at Clonard c. 549, but the monastery at Clonard survived until the 16th Century.

According to Charles Kightly (The Perpetual Almanack of Folklore, Thames and Hudson, 1987), it is considered very unlucky in the Scottish Highlands and Islands to go to bed without supper on St Finnian's Night ...

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