St. Brendan was an Irish monk born around 484. He was one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland, a student of St. Finnian. Brendan was ordained in 512. He traveled to Scotland, Wales, Brittany, and small islands surrounding Ireland preaching and founding monasteries.
Brendan is most known for his voyage to the “Isle of the Blessed.” Legend says that he set out on the Atlantic searching for the Garden of Eden. Along the way, he has several adventures with strange islands, sea monsters, and even Judas. Because of this story, Brendan is often called “the Navigator” or “the Voyager.” His story is a traditional Irish sea story called an immram. Some people have interpreted the islands in Brendan’s story as actual islands in North America, giving Ireland a claim as the first Europeans to find the New World.
Brendan died in 577. He is the patron of sailors and travelers. His feast day is May 16.