Sunday, May 16, 2010

Saint Brendan the Voyager

Today is Saint Brendan's Day, and I apologize for not posting this ahead of time so that you could prepare.  It's not too late to celebrate, though!

Another wonderful pre-schism western saint, Brendan the Voyager (b. 484) was a monastic in Ireland who founded many monasteries.  As his title and icon imagery suggest, he was a sailor who traveled around.  He is said to have gone in search of the Land of Paradise.  While the account of his journeys are intended to be of a symbolic and spiritual value, some have conjectured that he may have been one of the first saints to set foot in North America, some say Canada. 

Thus, in French Canadian spirit, serve up some Canadian bacon with French toast cut into simple fish shapes to symbolize simultaneously St. Brendan's ocean travels and also the Christological "ichthys" fish.  Serve breakfast for dinner!  (Or, next year, serve fishy toast for breakfast and Irish fare for dinner.)

You can also play the card game "Go fish!" and make origami boats to sail in the tub at bath time.

Talk to your children about The Water Project and make a donation.

(You can buy the beautiful Orthodox icon featured on the left above from Come And See Icons.  Below is the troparion featured on their website.)

Troparion (Tone 4)
The Divine Likeness has been perfected in thee, O holy Father Brendan, for taking up the Cross thou hast followed Christ, and by thy deeds thou hast taught us to disdain the flesh for it passes away, but to cultivate the soul for it is immortal: wherefore, O holy father, thy spirit rejoices with the Angels.

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