ST. FINIAN OF CLONARD: December 12 (†549)
St. Finian, known as the “Tutor of the Saints of Ireland,” stands with St. Enda of Aran at the head of the patriarchs of Irish monasticism. He showed great zeal and piety for God from his youth. He had already founded three churches before he set off for Wales to study at the feet of St. Cadoc at Llancarfan (September 25, †577). In Llancarfan he became close friends with St. Gildas (January 29, †ca. 570), another of St. Cadoc’s disciples. Upon his return to Ireland, he founded the great Monastery of Clonard during the very same year the great St. Enda (March 21, †530) reposed in Aran. A multitude of illustrious and holy men studied under St. Finian, including the famous “Twelve Apostles of Ireland.” St. Finian founded many other monasteries during his lifetime, including the famous island monastery of Skellig Michael off the southwest coast of Ireland.
Saint Finian is honored in the Eastern & Western Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches.