Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 05 December |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Jean-Baptiste Fouque
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Who were the '12 Apostles of Ireland'?

12 APOSTLES OF IRELAND

Andreas F Borchert | CC BY SA 3.0

Philip Kosloski - published on 03/01/18

These saints were instrumental to the foundation of Christianity in the Emerald Isle.

While St. Patrick successfully brought Christianity to Ireland, it was up to successive generations to ensure it did not die out. One of the most influential saints who helped foster Christianity in the country was St. Finnian of Clonard.

He was born around 470 and was instructed in the faith by the disciples of St. Patrick. Some traditions say that Finnian studied in Gaul where St. Martin of Tours established a monastic center. Eventually he made his way back to Ireland and founded an influential monastery at Clonard. It was for his work there that Finnian would later be called “tutor of saints.”

A great number of monks came to him for instruction and it is said that there were over 3,000 pupils at Clonard at any given time. Whatever the number may be, under his tutelage there grew a new generation of monastic saints.

In particular, Irish writers over the centuries signaled out “12 Apostles of Erin” who studied under Finnian and further ingrained Christianity into Irish culture.

St. Ciaran of Saighir (Seir-Kieran)
St. Ciaran of Clonmacnois
St. Brendan of Birr
St. Brendan of Clonfert
St. Columba of Tir-da-glasí
St. Columba of Iona
St. Mobhí of Glasnevin
St. Ruadhan of Lorrha
St. Senan of Iniscathay
St. Ninnidh the Saintly of Loch Erne
St. Lasserian mac Nadfraech
St. Canice of Aghaboe

The list can vary according to the writer, and there exist many other saints whose faith was fostered at the great school of Clonard.

Suffice to say it illustrates the reality that sometimes all that is needed is one individual to say “yes” to God for many others to follow in line.


SAINT BRENDAN

Read more:
Did an Irish explorer discover America in the 6th century?




Read more:
Archaeologists find the cell of St. Columba, one of the “Twelve Apostles of Ireland”

Tags:
IrelandSaints
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
FATHER JOHN FIELDS
John Burger
Priest who volunteered for COVID-19 vaccine t...
Andrea Bocelli
J-P Mauro
Andrea Bocelli to perform live Christmas conc...
STAROŚĆ, SAMOTNOŚĆ
Cerith Gardiner
5 Patron saints to help the seniors in your l...
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
4 Tips on how to evaluate your spiritual life
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to t...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.