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Did You Know?

May 16 is celebrated as the Feast of St. Brendan the Navigator. St. Brendan (Brandan or Brennainn) is the patron saint of sailors, travelers, mariners and whales (yes whales). He was born in Co. Kerry about 486 A.D. He was a great traveler and founded churches and monasteries. According to legend, he and a band of monks embarked upon a long voyage around the Atlantic in search of “Terra Repromissionis” or the “Promised Land.” Well researched Latin texts dating back to at least 800 A.D. told how they sailed to a land far across the ocean in a boat made of oxhides. If the claim is true, then St. Brendan reached America almost 1,000 years before Columbus and 400 years before the Vikings. Tim Severin, in his book, “The Brendan Voyage,” (1978) tells how he undertook the same voyage and proved that it could be done.  Another “first” for the Irish.

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