Saint Finbarr

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Saint Finbarr

Bishop of Cork
(† Sixth Century)

Saint Finbarr, who lived in the sixth century, was a native of Connaught, Ireland. He founded a monastery or school at Lough Eire, to which great numbers of disciples flocked, changing, as it were, a desert into a large city. This was the origin of the city of Cork, built chiefly upon stakes on marshy little islands formed by the river Lea.

The baptismal name of our Saint was Lochan; the surname Finbarr, or Barr the White, was afterwards given him. He was Bishop of Cork for seventeen years, and died in the midst of his friends at Cloyne, fifteen miles from Cork. His body was buried in his own cathedral at Cork; his relics were put into a silver reliquary a few years later and kept in the great church, which bears his name to this day. Saint Finbarr’s cave, or hermitage, used to be shown in a monastery situated to the west of Cork, which tradition affirms was established by the holy bishop.

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

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