Tuesday, 25 March 2014

12 Apostles of Ireland

Quilt depicting 12 Irish Apostles
Ireland's Twelve Apostles
In Irish: Dhá Aspal Déag na hÉireann

In 520, St. Finian found his school at Cluain-Eraird (Eraid's Meadow), now known as Clonard in Meath. The average number of students attending was 3,000.

Saint Finian of Cluain Iraird, now Clonard in Meath died in the year 549. The Twelve Apostles of Erin, as they were known by old Irish writers, studied under him. 

These twelve were grouped together in a text  Dá apstol décc na hÉrenn ("The Twelve Apostles of Ireland", the modern Irish being Dhá Aspal Déag na hÉireann)

St. Brendan and companions
It is said that these twelve gathered together for a feast in the house of St. Finian, when a magical flower appeared in their midst.  It was determined that the country in which the flower originated was where they needed to go to spread the Gospel.    By lots it was determined that old Brendon of Birr be the one, but because of his age, his younger namesake Brendan moccu Altae went in his stead.

Brendan set out with many companions had encounters many  which are related in the book, "The Irish Life of Saint Brendon" by Mac Mathúna

 "Their success was built on their rigorous penance, prayer, and dedication to learning and preaching. Their success also shows how a single teacher or leader like St. Finian can inspire men to do great things."  

The names of the 12 Apostles of Ireland: (see more information on each saint by clicking on their name)

Saint Ciarán of Saighir
  1. Saint Ciarán of Saighir (Seir-Kieran)
  2. Saint Ciaran of Clonmacnoise, on the Shannon, in the barony of Garrycastle, County Offaly, died in the year 549.
  3. Saint Brendan of Birr, now Birr, County Offaly. He died on 29 November 571.
  4. Saint Brendan of Clonfert (Brendan the Navigator). He was the son of Finnloga, the patron saint of the see of Clonfert, in County Galway, was born in 484, and died in 577 aged 94.
  5. Saint Columba of Terryglass, abbot of Tir-da-glas, now Terryglass, in the barony of Lower Ormond, in the county of Tipperary, and died in 552, the same year as St. Finen of Clonard.
  6. Saint Columba of Iona was born in the year 521, and died in
    St. Columba of Iona
    the year 597, aged 75. Columba was an outstanding figure among the Gaelic missionary monks who some of his advocates claim introduced Christianity to the Kingdom of the Picts during the early medieval period.
  7. Saint Mobhí of Glasnevin, patron of Glasnaidhen, now Glasnevin, near Dublin. He died on 12 October 545
  8. Saint Ruadhain of Lorrha, the patron of Lothra, now Lorrha, in County Tipperary. He died on 15 April 584.
  9. Saint Senan of Iniscathay (Scattery Island)
St. Canice
  1. Saint Ninnidh the Saintly of Lough Erne, the Pious, the patron of the parish of Inis Muighe Samh, now Inismacsaint, in the north-west of County Fermanagh. He was alive in 530 but the year of his death is uncertain.
  2. Saint Laisrén mac Nad Froích, the son of Nadfraech, he was the brother of Aengus, the first Christian king of Munster and died in 570.
  3. Saint Canice the patron of Aghaboe in County Laois, who died in 599 at the age of 84.

Information gathered from the following links: