St. Enda

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

St. Enda (Eanda)

Abbot of Aran and Confessor

Feast Day March 21st

St. Enda may have been a disciple of St. Ninian and founded the first Irish Monastery on Aran, the capital of the Ireland of the Saints, it had a great influence on the Irish Church and, according to St. Aengus “it will never be known until the day of judgement the number of saints whose bodies lie in the soil of Aran.”

St. Enda is known as one of the fathers of Irish Monasticism. Today in the Traditional Latin Mass Calendar it is the Feast of the Father of West Monasticism St. Benedict of Nursia.

May these two Fathers of Monasticism pray for Ireland to once again renew herself in Christ His Church and His teachings. Amen.

The mouth of the just shall mediate wisdom, and his tongue

shall speak judgement, the law of his God is in his heart.

Just four days after the feast of Saint Patrick, the Catholic Church honours Saint Enda of Aran, a warrior-turned-monk.

In the land evangelized by St. Patrick, there emerged in subsequent centuries a number of saints, who by the sanctity of their lives firmly established Christianity in Ireland. Among these is to be numbered the great St. Enda of Aran. The Aran Islands are a group of three islands located at the mouth of Galway Bay on the west coast of Ireland.

Enda was born in the sixth century to Oriel of Ulster, son of Conall Derg of Ergall, to whose principality he succeeded upon his death. One of his sisters was married to Oengus the king of Munster; another, the holy Fanchea, was abbess of a monastery. It was the pious exhortations of the latter that compelled him to leave the world and embrace the monastic life. He embarked on a pilgrimage to Rome to venerate the relics of the Apostles and was there ordained a priest. Upon his return to Ireland, he built a church in Drogheda along the River Boyne and founded a religious community. From his brother-in-law, King Oengus of Munster, he obtained the grant of the wild and barren isle of Aran (Aranmore) in the Bay of Galway, where he founded the famous Monastery of Killeaney. Such was the fame acquired by this monastery and its abbot, that the island was called “Aran of the Saints”. Many of the great Irish saints had some connection with Aran and St. Enda: St. Brendan the Voyager, St. Kiaran of Clonmacnoise, St. Columba of Iona, St. Finnian of Clonard and others. So numerous were the pilgrims to Aran that St. Columba called it “The Rome of Pilgrims”. Enda divided the island into ten parts, in each of which he built a monastery and over which he set superiors. His monastic settlement was known for its austerity, holiness and learning, and became a burning light of sanctity for centuries in Western Europe. This father of Irish monasticism died in advanced old age and was buried on Aran Mor.


O God, Who does gladden us by the annual feast of blessed Enda, Thy Confessor, mercifully grant, that we may follow the example of his life, whose heavenly birthday we celebrate. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, They Son, Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.


From My Daily Thought from the following of Christ

Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity, but to love God and serve Him alone. This is the highest wisdom, by despising the world, to make progress towards the kingdom of heaven.


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