Tuesday, September 25, 2012

St. Finbarr

The patron saint of Cork, was born in Achaid Duborcon near Crookstown, Co. Cork, the son of a Connacht father, a metalworker, who moved to Munster to find work and married a slave girl.

Finbarr left home with three unidentified ascetics and spent much time in Scotland before establishing various hermitages in his native area, notably at Kilclooney and on an island in Gougane Barra, which bears his name.

Among many wondrous tales associated with him is, one in which he is led by an angel from the source of the river Lee at Gougane Barra to its marshy mouth, where he founded his most important monastery, out of which grew the see and the city of Cork. Another of Finbarr's great legends was the chase and expulsion of the great lake serpent from the lake in Gougane, which created the channel that is now the river Lee.

Finbarr died at Cloyne in 633 ad and his remains were taken to Cork to be enclosed in a silver shrine. A pattern is made to Gougane Barra on the Sunday nearest to the feast of St Finbarr which falls on the 25th of September.

No comments: