This is super cool–another Canada Day post for intelligent readers. And another great post from writer, L.A. Smith. I have been fascinated with St. Brendan since I read Frederick Buechner‘s stunning little book, Brendan. I am his namesake, after all (sort of, maybe). Read this post and you will discover which Europeans were the first to really find their way to Canada.
In honour of Canada Day, I thought it might be fun to share with you one of my favourite stories from the Britain’s Early Middle Ages; that of the 6th century monk known as Brendan the Voyager. This story has a Canadian connection because it has been speculated that Brendan and some fellow monks, not the Vikings, were the first Europeans to set foot on North America, specifically Newfoundland.
Some 50 years after St. Patrick died in 461 A.D., Brendan and other Irish monks continued Patrick’s work of converting the pagan Irish Celts to Christianity. Brendan was born in 484 A.D. in County Karee in the south-west of Ireland, and was ordained as a priest at the age of 28. He frequently sailed the seas to bring the gospel to not only Ireland but also Scotland, Wales, and Brittany, the Gaulish outpost in the north of present-day France.
This method of travel…
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