ST. FANCHEA'S VISIT TO ARRAN

From Legendary Fictions of the Irish Celts by Patrick Kennedy

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St. Enda's sister, Fanchea, accompanied by three of her nuns, once paid a visit to Arran to see how the good work was proceeding. She and they were much edified by the praying, and fasting, and labouring, and building, and the copying of Latin gospels and missals, all in busy progress. When she was departing, she would not allow her brother to withdraw a couple of his monks from their labours to row them across to the mainland. "We will," said she, "trust to God for a passage." Coming to the shore, she made the sign of the cross on the water, and spread her cloak on it.

The garment at once assumed the qualities of a stout board, and the sisters, each taking her position at a corner, went tranquilly over the rough waters of the bay. Fanchea observing one corner of the raft rather shaky, and inclined to let the salt water invade the feet of the sister placed there, exhorted her to acknowledge the fault which occasioned this partial failure. "Dear mother," said the repentant lady, "while on the island I coveted a nice pipkin for which we have much need at home, and so I secretly brought it away with me." "Ah, dear daughter, you have done wrong. One venial sin deliberately committed may lead easily to a mortal sin. Throw the cause of your fault into the sea." It was done, and the remainder of the voyage was pleasantly effected.

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