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Who's the real patron saint of travelers?

Who's the real patron saint of travelers?

No, St. Christopher is a myth

Saint Brendan of Clonfert

Birthplace: Ireland

Feast Day: May 16

Claim to fame: One of the great leaders of Irish Christianity, Brendan was born in Ireland around 464. He was raised by St. Ita, after which he completed his education with the bishop of Kerry. As St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland, monastery life became a popular vocation, and Brendan became a monk. He gathered his own followers and settled as abbot in his own community. It is said that an angel appeared to give Brendan his order’s rules. Each day the monks prayed for several hours, observed long periods of silence, studied, ate just enough to survive and slept on cold floors in their cells. The monks also painstakingly copied manuscripts of Greek and Roman literature to create exquisite illuminated manuscripts.

Best quote: A popular legend called The Voyage of St. Brendan tells how Brendan and a group of monks traveled in a wooden boat looking for the paradise of Adam  and Eve. Brendan had enough supplies for 12 monks, but two more begged to go along. Brendan said, “Ye may sail with me, but one of you will go to perdition ere you return.” Near the end of the journey, one of them leapt overboard to escape a volcano, fulfilling Brendan’s prophecy.

What made him a saint: Brendan became a missionary, traveling through Ireland to Europe, and even across the Atlantic. The monasteries he established became vital centers of art and learning. The most important one Brendan founded was Clonfert in Ireland, where as many as 3,000 monks may have lived. For many centuries, sailors have prayed to St. Brendan for protection, hoping that some day they would find the promised land — St. Brendan’s Isle. But Brendan’s true legacy lies in his tireless zeal, which introduced God’s teaching to many.

Prayer: Dear Lord, as Brendan took risks to proclaim your word, help us to be risk-takers in our own lives for you. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.