Finnian (Finian, Finden) of Clonard B
Born c. 470; died c. 549-52. Irish monk who followed in the path of Saint Patrick and began the initiator of a strict form of Irish monasticism. Finnian had close relations with the British Church. The contemporary collection of regulations for penitents, ascribed to Vinnianus, was probably not the work of this Finnian but perhaps by Finnian of Moville.
Unreliable legend has him born at Myshall, County Carlow, Ireland, and spending several years in Wales at monasteries under Saint Cadoc and Saint Gildas. He became a monk in Wales, returned to Ireland, and founded several monasteries, most notably Clonard in Meath, which was the greatest school of the period, renowned chiefly for its biblical studies (Finnian was a great Biblical scholar). He died at Clonard of the yellow plague, which swept Ireland. Though called a bishop in Ireland, it is doubtful if he was ever consecrated. He is often called the "Teacher of Irish Saints" and at one time had as pupils at Clonard the so- called Twelve Apostles of Ireland, including Saint Columba of Iona, Saint Ciaran of Clommacnois, and Saint Brendan the Voyager (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).
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