Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Did Saint Brendan Discover America First?

The Navigator, the Voyager, the Bold; Saint Brendan is known as one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. Much of his life is shrouded in intrique and mystery.

Saint Brendan the Navigator was born in what is now County Kerry, Ireland more than 1500 years ago in 486 AD. He is known as a traveler and a founder of churches and monasteries. His most famous was Clonfert Cathedral in County Galway. The original monastery was founded here by Saint Brendan 563 AD and it is here that the great navigating saint is buried. Little else in known of the famous Irish Saint, save for what has been recorded in Irish annals, genealogies and a strange tale called "the Voyage of St Brendan the Navigator," written down in the ninth century and rewritten with various changes in several later manuscripts.

According to the medieval legend, St. Brendan and his band of monks embarked on a small boat upon a long Atlantic voyage in search of the Promised Land, the "Isle of the Blessed," a garden of Eden. A spirited 7 year journey ensues, complete with stormy seas, mythical creatures, many strange and wondrous sights. Eventually they landed on the fabled Isle of the Blessed, seven years west of Ireland. Though it is hard to tell which island this hero's journey landed in, many modern historians and scholars believe it is America.

Saint Brendan the Navigator is one of the most famous of Irish saints, but whether he discovered America has remained one of the continuing Irish mysteries. Journey to the birthplace of Saint Brendan, walk in the footsteps of saints and scholars, visit Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations.

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