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St. Brendan

Born: 484

Died: 577

Canonized: pre-Congregation

Feast Day: May 16

Patron Saint of: sailors

Also known as Brendan the Voyager, Saint Brendan of Clonfert, and Bréanainn of Clonfert.

Saint Brendan was born near the city of Tralee on the west coast of Ireland. His mother, Saint Ita, raised Brendan as a devout Christian. Her lessons to Brendan were simple. She taught her son that God loves three things -- true faith of a pure heart, a simple religious life, and bountifulness inspired by Christian charity.

Brendan employed his passion for sailing with missionary work that took him from Ireland to Scotland, England, Wales, and Greenland. Some believe that his travels even took him as far as North America. What's amazing is these travels were all accomplished in animal skin-covered coracles.

Saint Brendan established many monasteries during his life of travels.