Brendan

Irish - (c. 489-583). A saint, patron of seafarers. Son of Findlugh. Before his birth, his mother dreamed that her breasts were full of gold, explained by Earc and Beag mac Deas portending future wonders. The boy was handed over to St Ide, a nun, as foster mother and later became a priest under Earc. Among other miracles, he turned into an otter the man who stole his cattle, tamed lions and vanquished monsters. Inspired by a vision, he sailed off to find the Land of Promise, taking nine (or fourteen) companions in a hide-covered boat on a voyage that lasted seven years. Once, they landed on the back of a huge whale, taking it to be an island; and later, directed by a bird which could speak, they saw the Island of Smiths where the giant inhabitants drove them off with burning missiles. They saw a pillar reaching to the sky and a small island where Paul, a hermit, was kept alive by fish brought by an otter. Other places they visited were the Island of Sheep, an island where they found three choirs, and another covered with grapes. Some of the places recur in the story of the voyage of Maeldun. They came at last to the Land of Promise where they were told that they had been chosen for the voyage so that they might see some of God's handiwork. Also known as Brendan, Brandan, Brandan, Bran, Brandon, Brandon, Breanainn, Breanainn, Breaninn, Breaninn, Brendanus, Brendanus, Brean(a)inn or Brean(a)inn.

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