|Saint Brendan the Navigator|
Saint Brendan and the whale from a 15th-century manuscript
Ciarraighe Luachra near Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland
Annaghdown, County Galway, Ireland
Roman Catholic Church|
Eastern Orthodox Church
|Attributes||whale; priest celebrating Mass on board ship while fish gather to listen; one of a group of monks in a small boat|
|Patronage||boatmen; divers; mariners; sailors; travellers; whales; diocese of Clonfert; diocese of Kerry|
Saint Brendan of Clonfert (c. 484 – c. 577) (Irish: Naomh Bréanainn; Latin: Brendanus; Icelandic: (heilagur) Brandanus), also referred to as Brendan moccu Altae, called "the Navigator", "the Voyager", "the Anchorite", or "the Bold", is one of the early Irish monastic saints. He is chiefly renowned for his legendary quest to the "Isle of the Blessed," also called Saint Brendan's Island. The Voyage of Saint Brendan could be called an immram (Irish navigational story). He was one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland.
There is very little secure information concerning Brendan's life, although at least the approximate dates of his birth and death, and accounts of some events in his life, are found in the Irish annals and genealogies. The first mention of Brendan occurs in Adamnan's Vita Sancti Columbae, written between 679 and 704. The first notice of him as a seafarer appears in the ninth century Martyrology of Tallaght.
The principal works devoted to the saint and his legend are a 'Life of Brendan' in several Latin and Irish versions (Vita Brendani / Betha Brenainn) and the better known 'Voyage of Saint Brendan the Abbot' (Navigatio sancti Brendani abbatis). Unfortunately, the Lives and the Voyage provide little reliable information about his life and travels; they do, however, attest to the development of his following in the centuries after his death. An additional problem is that the precise relationship between the Vita and the Navigatio traditions is uncertain.
Just when the Vita tradition began is uncertain. The surviving copies date no earlier than the end of the twelfth century, but scholars suggest that a version of the Life was composed before the year 1000. The Navigatio was probably written earlier than the Vita, perhaps in the second half of the eighth century. St Aengus the Culdee, in his Litany composed at the close of the eighth century, invokes "the sixty who accompanied St. Brendan in his quest for the Land of Promise".
Any attempt to reconstruct the details of the life of the real Brendan or to understand the nature of the Brendan legend has to be based principally on the Irish annals and genealogies and on the various versions of the Vita Brendani.
In 484 AD Brendan was born in Tralee, in County Kerry, in the province of Munster, in the south-west of Ireland. He was born among the Altraige, a tribe originally centred around Tralee Bay, to parents called Finnlug and Cara. Tradition has it that he was born in the Kilfenora/Fenit area on the North side of the bay. He was baptised at Tubrid, near Ardfert by Saint Erc, and was originally to be called "Mobhí" but signs and portents attending his birth and baptism led to him being christened 'Broen-finn' or 'fair-drop'. For five years he was educated under Saint Ita, "the Brigid of Munster". When he was six he was sent to Saint Jarlath's monastery school at Tuam to further his education. Brendan is one of the "Twelve Apostles of Ireland", one of those said to have been tutored by the great teacher, Finnian of Clonard.
At the age of twenty-six, Brendan was ordained a priest by Saint Erc. Afterwards, he founded a number of monasteries. Brendan’s first voyage took him to the Arran Islands, where he founded a monastery. He also visited Hinba (Argyll), an island off Scotland where he is said to have met Columcille (Columba). On the same voyage he traveled to Wales, and finally to Brittany, on the northern coast of France. Between the years 512 and 530 Brendan built monastic cells at Ardfert, and, at the foot of Mount Brandon, Shanakeel— Seana Cill, usually translated as "the old church". From here he is supposed to have set out on his famous seven-year voyage for Paradise. The old Irish Calendars assigned a special feast for the "Egressio familiae S. Brendani".
St. Brendan is chiefly renowned for his legendary journey to the Isle of the Blessed as described in the ninth century Voyage of St Brendan the Navigator. Many versions exist that tell of how he set out onto the Atlantic Ocean with sixteen pilgrims (other versions have fourteen, plus three unbelievers who join at the last minute) searching for the Garden of Eden. One of these companions is said to have been Saint Malo, the namesake of Saint-Malo. If it happened, this would have occurred sometime between AD 512–530, before his travel to the island of Great Britain. On his trip, Brendan is supposed to have seen Saint Brendan's Island, a blessed island covered with vegetation. He also encountered a sea monster, an adventure he shared with his contemporary Saint Columba. The most commonly illustrated adventure is his landing on an island which turns out to be a giant sea monster called Jasconius or Jascon. This too, has its parallels in other stories, not only in Irish mythology but in other traditions, from Sinbad the Sailor to Pinocchio.
The Voyage of Saint Brendan
The earliest extant version of The Voyage of Saint Brendan was recorded around AD 900. There are over 100 manuscripts of the story across Europe, as well as many additional translations. The Voyage of Saint Brendan is an overtly Christian narrative, but also contains narratives of natural phenomena and fantastical events and places, which appealed to a broad populace. The Voyage of Saint Brendan contains many parallels and inter-textual references to the Voyage of Bran and the Voyage of Máel Dúin.
On the Kerry coast, he built a currach-like boat of wattle, covered it with hides tanned in oak bark softened with butter, set up a mast and a sail. He and a small group of monks fasted for forty days, and after a prayer upon the shore, embarked in the name of the Trinity. The account is characterized by a great deal of literary license and contains references to hell where “great demons threw down lumps of fiery slag from an island with rivers of gold fire” and “great crystal pillars.” Many now believe these to be references to the volcanic activity around Iceland, and to icebergs.
- Saint Barrid tells of his visit to the Island of Paradise, which prompts Brendan to go in search of the isle.
- Brendan assembles 14 monks to accompany him.
- They fast at three-day intervals for 40 days, and visit Saint Enda for three days and three nights.
- Three latecomers join the group. They interfere with Brendan's sacred numbers.
- They find an island with a dog, mysterious hospitality (no people, but food left out), and an Ethiopian devil.
- One latecomer admits to having stolen from the mysterious island, Brendan exorcises the Ethiopian devil from the latecomer, latecomer dies and is buried.
- They find an island with a boy who brings them bread and water.
- They find an island of sheep, eat some, and stay for Holy Week (before Easter).
- They find the island of Jasconius, have Easter Mass, and hunt whales and fish.
- They find an island that is the Paradise of Birds, and the birds sing psalms and praise the Lord.
- They find the island of the monks of Ailbe, with magic loaves, no ageing, and complete silence. They celebrate Christmas.
- A long voyage after Lent. They find an island with a well, and drinking the water puts them to sleep for 1, 2, or 3 days based on the number of cups each man drank.
- They find a "coagulated" sea.
- They return to the islands of Sheep, Jasconius, and the Paradise of Birds. A bird prophesies that the men must continue this year-long cycle for seven years before they will be holy enough to reach the Island of Paradise.
- A sea creature approaches the boat, but God shifts the sea to protect the men. Another sea creature comes, chops the first into three pieces, and leaves. The men eat the dead sea creature.
- They find an island of 3 choirs of anchorites (monks), who give them fruit, and the second latecomer stays behind when the others leave.
- They find an island of grapes, and stayed for 40 days.
- They find a gryphon and a bird battle. The gryphon dies.
- To the monastery at Ailbe again for Christmas.
- The sea is clear, and many threatening fish circle their boat, but God protects them.
- They find an island, but when they light a fire, the island sinks; it is actually a whale.
- They pass a "silver pillar wrapped in a net" in the sea.
- They pass an island of blacksmiths, who throw slag at them.
- They find a volcano, and the third latecomer is taken by demons down to Hell.
- They find Judas sitting unhappily on a cold, wet rock in the middle of the sea, and discover that this is his respite from Hell for Sundays and feast days. Brendan protects Judas from the demons of Hell for one night.
- They find an island where Paul the Hermit has lived a perfect monastic life for 60 years. He wears nothing but hair and is fed by an otter.
- They return to the island of Sheep, Jasconius, and the Paradise of Birds.
- They find the Promised Land of the Saints.
- They return home, and Brendan dies.
The Navigatio Sancti Brendani (Voyage of Saint Brendan) fits in with a then-popular literature genre, peculiar to Ireland, called an immram. Irish immrama flourished during the seventh and eighth centuries. Typically, an immram is a tale that describes the hero's series of seafaring adventures. (Some of these immrams involved the search for, and visits to, Tir na nOg, an island far to the west, beyond the edges of the world map.) There appear to be similarities with The Voyage of Bran written much earlier. In the Navigatio, this style of storytelling meshed with a religious ascetic tradition where Irish monks would travel alone in boats, the same way their desert brothers used to isolate themselves in caves.
Brendan's voyages created one of the most remarkable and enduring of European legends. With much of Brendan's journeys coming from the Navigatio it has been difficult for scholars to interpret what is factual and what is folklore. The story of Brendan's voyage, developed during this time, shares some characteristics with immram. Like an immram, the Navigatio tells the story of Brendan, who, with some companion monks, sets out to find the terra repromissionis sanctorum, the Promised Land of the Saints or the Earthly Paradise.
Jude S. Mackley holds that the focus of identifying possible actual locations in the Navigatio, distracts from the author's purpose in presenting a story about "...salvation, monastic obedience and the faith required to undertake such a pilgrimage."
There is debate among scholars as to whether the Navigatio influenced the Voyage of Mael Duin, or vice versa. Jude Mackley suggests that an early Navigatio influenced an equally early Mael Duin and that inter-borrowing continued as the traditions developed. The Navigatio adapts the immram traditions to a Christian context.
A principal similarity between Mael Duin and the Voyage of Brendan is the introduction in both of three additional passengers. Mael Duin is joined by his foster brothers; Brendan by three extra monks. In both instances these additions upset the equilibrium of the voyage, and it is when the extra persons are no longer on board, can each voyage be completed.
Early Dutch version
One of the earliest preserved written versions of the legend is in Dutch De Reis van Sinte Brandaen (Mediaeval Dutch for The Voyage of Saint Brendan), written in the 12th century. Scholars believe it is derived from a now lost middle High German text combined with Gaelic elements from Ireland and combines Christian and fairy tale elements. De Reis van Sinte Brandaen describes "Brandaen," a monk from Galway, and his voyage around the world for nine years. The journey was begun as a punishment by an angel who had seen that Brendan did not believe in the truth of a book on the miracles of creation and saw Brandaen throw it into the fire. The angel tells him that truth has been destroyed. On his journeys Brandaen encounters the wonders and horrors of the world, such as Judas frozen on one side and burning on the other, people with swine heads, dog legs and wolf teeth carrying bows and arrows, and an enormous fish that encircles the ship by holding its tail in its mouth. The English poem Life of Saint Brandan is a later English derivative of the Dutch version.
Possible link to North America
While the story is often assumed to be a religious allegory, there has been considerable discussion as to whether the legends are based on actual events. Over the years there have been many interpretations of the possible geographical position of Saint Brendan's Island. Various pre-Columbian sea-charts indicated it everywhere from the southern part of Ireland, to the Canary Islands, Faroes or Azores, to the island of Madeira, to a point 60 degrees west of the first meridian and very near the equator. Belief in the existence of the island was almost completely abandoned when a new theory arose, maintained by those who claim for the Irish the glory of discovering America.
There is no reliable evidence to indicate that Brendan ever reached Greenland or America. There is a St Brendan Society that celebrates the belief that Brendan was the first European to reach North America. Tim Severin demonstrated that it is possible that a leather-clad boat such as the one described in the Navigatio could have reached North America. Severin's 1978 film The Brendan Voyage, which documented his team's feat, inspired the Irish composer Shaun Davey to write his orchestral suite "The Brendan Voyage".
The Navigatio was known widely in Europe throughout the Middle Ages. Maps of Columbus’ time often included an island called St. Brendan’s Isle that was placed in the western Atlantic ocean. Paul Chapman argues that Christopher Columbus learned from Brendan's Navigatio that the currents and winds would most favorable westbound by a southerly route from the Canaries, and eastbound on the return trip by a more northerly route, and hence followed this itinerary on all four of his voyages.
Brendan travelled to Wales and the holy island of Iona, off the west coast of Scotland; returning to Ireland, he founded a monastery at Annaghdown, where he spent the rest of his days. He also founded a convent at Annaghdown for his sister Briga. Having established the bishopric of Ardfert, St Brendan proceeded to Thomond, and founded a monastery at Inis-da-druim (now Coney Island), in the present parish of Killadysert, County Clare, about the year 550. He then journeyed to Wales and studied under Saint Gildas at Llancarfan, and thence to Iona, for he is said to have left traces of his apostolic zeal at Kil-brandon (near Oban) and Kil-brennan Sound. After a three years' mission in Britain he returned to Ireland, and did more proselytising in various parts of Leinster, especially at Dysart (County Kilkenny), Killiney (Tubberboe), and Brandon Hill. He established churches at Inchiquin, County Galway and at Inishglora, County Mayo, and founded Clonfert in Galway around 557 AD. He died c. 577 at Annaghdown, while visiting his sister Briga. Fearing that after his death his devotees might take his remains as relics, Brendan had arranged before dying to have his body secretly carried back to the monastery he founded at Clonfert concealed in a luggage cart. He was buried in Clonfert Cathedral.
Brendan was recognised as a saint by the Church. His feast day is celebrated on 16 May. As the legend of the seven years voyage spread, crowds of pilgrims and students flocked to Ardfert. Religious houses were formed at Gallerus, Kilmalchedor, Brandon Hill, and the Blasket Islands, to meet the wants of those who came for spiritual guidance from Saint Brendan. Saint Brendan is the Patron Saint of sailors and travellers. At the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, a large stained glass window commemorates Brendan's achievements. At Fenit Harbour, Tralee, a substantial bronze sculpture by Tighe O'Donoghue/Ross was erected to honour the memory of Brendan. The project, including a Heritage Park and the Slí Bhreanainn (the Brendan way) was headed by Fr. Gearóid Ó Donnchadha and completed through the work of the St. Brendan Committee.
Brendan the Navigator or Brénainn moccu Alti as he is often known in the medieval Irish tradition is the patron Saint of two Irish Dioceses, Kerry and Clonfert. He is also a patron saint of boatmen, mariners, travelers, elderly adventurers, and whales, and also of portaging canoes.
St Brendan's activities as a churchman, however, were developed in Western Ireland, where his most important foundations are found, i.e. Ardfert (Co. Kerry), Inishdadroum (Co. Clare), Annaghdown (Co. Galway), and Clonfert (Co. Galway). His name is perpetuated in numerous place names and landmarks along the Irish coast (e.g. Brandon Hill, Brandon Point, Mount Brendan, Brandon Well, Brandon Bay, Brandon Head).
Saint Brendan's most celebrated foundation was Clonfert Cathedral, in the year 563, over which he appointed St Moinenn as Prior and Head Master. St Brendan was interred in Clonfert.
The group of ecclesiastical remains at Ardfert is one of the most interesting and instructive now existing in Ireland. The ruins of the ancient Cathedral of St Brendan, and of its annexed chantries and detached chapels, form a very complete reliquary of Irish ecclesiastical architecture, in its various orders and ages, from the plain but solid Danhliag of the seventh or eighth century to some late and most ornate examples of medieval Gothic. The cathedral, as it now stands, or rather as it stood before it was finally dismantled in A.D. 1641.
Appearances in popular culture
- Australian novelist Patrick Holland re-imagines the Brendan voyage in his 2014 novel Navigatio.
- The Brendan Voyage is an orchestral suite for Uilleann pipes, written by Irish composer Shaun Davey in 1983 and based on Tim Severin's book of the same name.
- Novelist Frederick Buechner retold the story of Brendan's travels in his 1987 novel Brendan.
- The Celtic band Iona made an entire recording inspired by the voyage of Saint Brendan called Beyond These Shores, now available as part of the recording The River Flows.
- Singer songwriter Sarana VerLin wrote an instrumental song titled "St Brendan's Reel" that appears on several albums including "Amadon Crest".
- In the 2005 film Beowulf & Grendel, a travelling monk named Brendan the Celt sails to Denmark circa 521 A.D.
- J.R.R.Tolkien wrote a poem called "The Voyage of Saint Brendan" included in his posthumously published time travel story The Lost Road and Other Writings.
- The cream liqueur "Saint Brendan's" is named after him.
- Tommy Makem sang of the idea that Brendan's Isle of the Blessed was in fact America. His song "Brendan" on the album "Rolling Home" tells the story (explained in detail on the disk sleeve) of how he travelled to Newfoundland, down the coast to Florida, and thence back to Ireland.
- The Irish rock band The Elders have a song on their album "Racing the Tide" called "Saint Brendan Had a Boat"
- Saint Brendan has been adopted by the scuba diving industry as the Patron Saint of Scuba Divers.
- Irish folk singer Christy Moore had a humorous track called St. Brendan's Voyage on his 1983 album Ordinary Man.
- Canadian indie band The Lowest of the Low correlate the voyage of St Brendan to the Atlantic passage of French and Irish immigrants to eastern Canada in the song "St Brendan's Way" on the album Shakespeare My Butt
- Ozarks folk singer Jimmy Driftwood wrote a humorous song about the voyage of St. Brendan called "St. Brendan's Fair Isle".
- Novelist Morgan Llywelyn wrote a fictional version of Brendan's life in her 2010 book Brendán
- Novelist Patricia Kennealy-Morrison features a fictional Brendan in her book "The Deers Cry", a story with a science fiction twist. In this book, Brendan is a pagan who decides to leave Earth for another planet because of his dislike for Christianity.
- At the climatic scene of Robert E. Howard's story The Cairn on the Headland, the protagonist uses a hallowed Cross made by Saint Brendan in order to banish the Norse god Odin, who was about to come back to life and destroy modern Dublin ().
- Matthew Arnold's poem "Saint Brandan" tells of the meeting with Judas on the iceberg.
Places associated with St Brendan
In the Sicilian town of Bronte there is a Church dedicated to Saint Brendan, whose name in the local dialect is "San Brandanu". Since 1574, the "Chiesa di San Blandano" (or Church of Saint Brendan) replaced a Chapel with such name that existed previously in the same location. The reasons for dedicating a church to Saint Brendan are still unknown and probably untraceable. The Normans and the many settlers that followed the Norman invasion brought into Sicily the tradition of St. Brendan; there are very old papers of the 13th century written in Sicily that refer to the same Saint; In 1799 the countryside surrounding Brontë became the British "Duchy of Horatio Nelson". The town of Drogheda is twinned with Bronte.
- List of people on stamps of Ireland
- Saint Amaro, a semi-legendary Spanish navigator and saint
- Saint Brendan's Island, a phantom island said to have been discovered by St Brendan on his voyage
- Grattan-Flood, William. "The Twelve Apostles of Erin." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 24 Jul. 2013
- (Greek) Ὁ Ὅσιος Βρενδανὸς ὁ Ἀναχωρητής. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
- MacPherson, Alan G., "Pre-Columbian Discoveries and Exploration of North America", North American Exploration, (John Logan Allen, ed.), University of Nebraska Press, 1997 ISBN 9780803210158
- "St. Brendan the Navigator", Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries
- Anderson, John D. "The Navigatio Brendani: A Medieval Best Seller." The Classical Journal 83.4 (1988): 315-22.
- Burgess, Glyn. The Voyage of St Brendan. UK: University of Exeter Press, 2002.
- Allen, John Logan (1997). North American Exploration: A New World Disclosed. Volume: 1. University of Nebraska Press. p. 18.
- "St.Brendan", Diocese of Kerry
- "Saint Brendan the Navigator",A Little Book of Celtic Saints
- "St. Brendan History", St. Brendan the Navigator
- "The Commemoration of St. Brendan of Ardfert and Clonert", All Saints Parish Archived 19 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Saint Brendan the Navigator", Saint Silouan Orthodox Church
- John D. Anderson. The Classical Journal, Vol. 83, No. 4 (Apr. – May 1988), pp. 315–322
- Mackley, Jude S. "The Legend of St. Brendan", Brill, 2008 ISBN 9789004166622
- Meijer 1971:9–10.
- Oleson, T. J., "Brendan, Saint", Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003
- Severin, Timothy. "The Voyage of the 'Brendan'", National Geographic Magazine 152:6 (Dec. 1977), 768-97.
- Severin, Tim. The Brendan Voyage: A Leather Boat Tracks the Discovery of America by the Irish Sailor Saints. McGraw-Hill Book Company. 1978. ISBN 0-07-056335-7.
- Severin, Tim, "Atlantic Navigators: The Brendan Voyage," 2005 presentation at Gresham College, video posted on National Geographic Voices by Andrew Howley May 16, 2013
- (1964, Robert Reily) Irish Saints page:37, Wing Books, New Jersey, ISBN 0-517-36833-1
- Howley, Andrew. "Did St. Brendan Reach North America 500 Years Before the Vikings?", National Geographic Voices, May 16, 2013
- Paul H. Chapman, The Man who Led Columbus to America (Atlanta, Ga.: Judson Press, 1973)
- "Corrandulla / Annaghdown". County Galway Guide. Retrieved 2009-03-28.
- Mackley, Jude S., Legend of Brendan: A Comparative Study of the Latin and Anglo-Norman Versions (Leiden: Brill, 2008)
- Selmer, Carl. Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis. Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1959.
- O’Donoghue, Denis. Brendaniana. Dublin, Ireland: Browne & Nolan, 1893.
- Bronte Insieme/Monumenti – Chiesa di San Blandano
- Bronte Insieme/Storia – Il nome delle sorelle Brontë
|Abbot of Clonfert
| Succeeded by|
- Ó Donnchadha, Gearóid. St Brendan of Kerry, the Navigator. His Life & Voyages. OPEN AIR 2004 ISBN 1-85182-871-0
- Meijer, Reinder. Literature of the Low Countries: A Short History of Dutch Literature in the Netherlands and Belgium. New York: Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1971.
- Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis (Latin):
- trans. J.F. Webb in The Age of Bede, ed. D. H. Farmer (Harmondsworth, 1983)
- ed. Carl Selmer, Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis (South Bend, IN, 1959)
- trans. John O‟Meara and Jonathan Wooding, in The Voyage of Saint Brendan: Representative Versions of the Legend in English Translation, ed. W.R.J. Barron and Glyn S. Burgess (Exeter, 2002).
- ed. and tr. G. Orlandi - R.E. Guglielmetti, Navigatio sancti Brendani. Alla scoperta dei segreti meravigliosi del mondo (Firenze, 2014).
- The First Irish Life of St Brendan
- ed. and tr. Whitley Stokes, Lives of Saints from the Book of Lismore. Anecdota Oxoniensia, Mediaeval and Modern Series 5. Oxford, 1890. pp. 99–116, 247–61. Based on the Book of Lismore copy.
- ed. and tr. Denis O’Donoghue, Brendaniana. St Brendan the Voyager in Story and Legend. Dublin, 1893. Partial edition and translation, based on the Book of Lismore as well as copies in Paris BNF celtique et basque 1 and BL Egerton 91.
- The Second Irish Life of St Brendan (conflated with the Navigatio). Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique 4190–4200 (transcript by Mícheál Ó Cléirigh)
- ed. and tr. Charles Plummer, Bethada náem nÉrenn. Lives of the Irish saints. Oxford: Clarendon, 1922. Vol. 1. pp. 44–95; vol. 2, 44–92.
- Voyage of St Brendan (Anglo-Norman)
- The Anglo-Norman Voyage of St Brendan, ed. Brian Merrilees and Ian Short (Manchester, 1979)
- The Anglo-Norman Voyage of St Brendan by Benedeit, ed. E.G. Waters (Oxford, 1928)
- Benedeit – Le Voyage de Saint Brandan, ed. and transl. into German Ernstpeter Ruhe (München, 1977)
- Transl. in The Voyage of Saint Brendan: Representative Versions of the Legend in English Translation, ed. W.R.J. Barron and Glyn S. Burgess (Exeter, 2002)
- Bray, Dorothy, "Allegory in the Navigatio Sancti Brendani", Viator 26 (1995), 1–10.
- Burgess, Glyn S, and Clara Strijbosch, The Legend of St Brendan: A Critical Bibliography (Dublin, 2000)
- Chapman, Paul H., The Man who Led Columbus to America (Atlanta, Ga.: Judson Press, 1973)
- Dumville, David, "Two Approaches to the Dating of Nauigatio Sancti Brendani", Studi medievali, third s. 29 (1988), 87–102
- Esposito, M., "An Apocryphal Book of Enoch and Elias as a Possible Source for the Navigatio Sancti Brendani", Celtica 5 (1960), 192–206
- Gardiner, Eileen, Visions of Heaven and Hell Before Dante (New York: Italica Press, 1989), pp. 81–127, provides an English translation of the Latin text of the Voyage of St Brendan.
- Iannello, Fausto, Jasconius rivelato. Studio comparativo del simbolismo religioso dell'“isola-balena” nella Navigatio sancti Brendani (Alessandria: Edizioni dell'Orso, 2013)
- Illingworth, Robin N., "The Structure of the Anglo-Norman Voyage of St Brendan by Benedeit," Medium Aevum 55:2 (1986), 217–29
- Jones, Robin F., "The Mechanics of Meaning in the Anglo-Norman Voyage of Saint Brendan,‟ Romanic Review 71:2 (1980), 105–13
- Moult, D. Pochin, "St Brendan: Celtic Vision and Romance,‟ in Ireland of the Saints (London, 1953), pp. 153–70
- Ritchie, R. L. G., "The Date of The Voyage of St Brendan‟, Medium Aevum 19 (1950), 64–6
- Sobecki, Sebastian, "From the désert liquide to the Sea of Romance – Benedeit's Voyage de saint Brandan and the Irish immrama", Neophilologus 87:2 (2003), 193–207
- Sobecki, Sebastian, The Sea and Medieval English Literature (Cambridge: 2008)
- Wooding, Jonathan, "St Brendan's Boat: Dead Hides and the Living Sea in Columban and Related Hagiography‟, in Studies in Irish Hagiography: Saints and Scholars, eds John Carey, Máire Herbert and Pádraig Ó Riain (Dublin, 2001), pp. 77–92
- Wooding, Jonathan, The Otherworld Voyage in Early Irish Literature (Dublin, 2000).
- Wooding, Jonathan, "The medieval and early modern cult of St Brendan," in Boardman, Steve, John Reuben Davies, Eila Williamson (eds), Saints' Cults in the Celtic World (Woodbridge, Boydell Press, 2009) (Studies in Celtic History),
- Murray, K. Sarah-Jane, "The Wave Cry, The Wind Cry," in From Plato to Lancelot (Syracuse University Press, 2008).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saint Brendan.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Brendan.|
- St. Brendan the Navigator
- Complete Annotated Bibliography on the Voyage of St Brendan and the Life of St Brendan
- "Navigatio sancti Brendani abbatis" in (Latin) "Voyage Of St Brendan The Abbot" in (English)
- Betha Brénnain (Life of Brenainn) translated into English from the Book of Lismore.
- Betha Brénnain (Life of Brenainn) in (Old Irish) from the Book of Lismore
- The Voyage of Beyond the Sea Simon Young writes about St Brendan's journey in Fortean Times
- Wall Street Journal: "Of Sainted Memory"
- Faroestamps.fo – Faroese stamp edition (English, German, French, Danish, Faroese)
- Brendan's Fabulous Voyage – 1893 lecture by John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute, available from Project Gutenberg