St. Brendan the Navigator of Clonfert. Naomh Breandan in Irish Gaelic, lit. Holy Brendan (Breannain in Old Irish). Lived c. 480’s – 570’s. One of the twelve Apostles of Ireland. He is most famous for his seven years sea voyages that may have taken him to the coast of N. America. Back in Ireland, he helped argue on behalf of his friend St. Columba when he was being excommunicated for starting a civil war.
In this icon, he is portrayed with the correct Celtic tonsure (from ear to ear), and carries a boat, signifying his sea voyages; along with an abbey church, recognizing the monastic houses that he founded. His name is on parchment as a reminder of the Holy Scriptures that Ireland maintained for the Church during the dark ages, and is illuminated after the Celtic fashion. The knot work fish is symbolic of the Easter Mass that he celebrated on the back of a gigantic fish during his voyages. The name is written in Irish Gaelic in honor of his homeland.
St. Brendan, pray for all of us who venture in our lives, in search of that Holy Paradise where Jesus dewells and God reigns forever. Amen.
This icon is a mere 2.5″ x 4″ and will be one of three icons I am writing for a miniature Celtic triptych. The other two will be St. Aiden (same size as St. Brendan) and St. Columba in the center (slightly larger and standing).