Saint Finen

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Finen, or Finnian, Saint, Bishop of Clonard, was a native of Leinster, born the end of the 5th century. He was educated under Bishop Fortchern at Roscor, and when thirty years of age travelled in Britain, and became acquainted with British saints and missionaries. Finen ultimately returned with several ecclesiastics, and landing at Carn, in the County of Wexford, settled at Clonard, on the Boyne, about 530, and founded there the renowned school with which his name has since been associated. Among his pupils were Ciaran and St. Columcille. We are told that "his usual food was bread and herbs; his drink water. On festival days he used to indulge himself with a little fish and a cup of beer or whey. He slept on the bare ground, and a stone served him as a pillow." He died at Clonard in 552. He is the patron saint of the diocese of Meath, and his effigy is on the seal of the clergy. His festival is the 12th December. The Martyrology of Donegal styles him "a doctor of wisdom, and tutor of the saints of Ireland in his time."

Sources

119. Ecclesiastical History of Ireland: Rev. John Lanigan. 4 vols. Dublin, 1822.

234. Martyrology of Donegal: Edited by J. H. Todd, D.D., and William Reeves, D.D. (I.A.S.) Dublin, 1864.

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