This is the story of Saint Brendan the Navigator, whose legendary quest to find the Isle of the Blessed is one of the most remarkable and enduring early Christian tales.
Among Irish saints, Brendan the Navigator is second only to Patrick. Founder of several monasteries, he most famously guided a group of monks on a dangerous journey into the unknown vastness of the ocean on a search for Paradise. Based on the medieval "Life of St Brendan," Morgan Llywelyn's imaginative retelling of the Christian legend of this most remarkable man is a lyrical and surprising feast for the mind and heart. It is a story of truth and transcendence, and inner strength and daily discipline, a story of love and longing, and a story of towering faith. And of course, miracles.
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Veteran historical author Llywelyn retells the colorful life story of revered Irish monastic saint Brendan the Navigator in the form of a personal journal, written by an elderly Brendan, interspersed with third-person glimpses of the "Great Voyage" he undertook with 14 monks to find the fabled "earthly paradise" of the Western Sea, the Isles of Blest. A contemporary of Saint Patrick, Brendan is brought up by Erc, Bishop of Altraighe-Caille, and early on shows an affinity for seafaring. Restless, headstrong, and curious, the monk Brendan embarked on dangerous "peregrinations," first by land and then by sea, traveling with his pet raven Pr ach n to establish monasteries throughout Ireland. Llywelyn's narrative, laced with fifth-century Irish history and lore, climaxes with a fantastical maritime expedition worthy of Ulysses; her prose is by turns reflective, lyrical, and stalwart, delving into the popular legend with a genuine sense of Brendan's human strengths and frailties.