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Saint Brendan - 07 The Voyage of Saint Brendan



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

The Voyages of Saint Brendan – A Journey to the Promised Land translated from the Latin by John J O’Meara


……………… While they were thus conversing a fiery arrow sped through a window before their very eyes and lit all the lamps that were placed before the altars.

Then the arrow immediately sped out again. But a bright light was left in the lamps. Saint Brendan again asked:

‘Who will quench the lights in the morning?’

The holy father replied:

‘Come and see the secret of it.  You can see the tapers burning in the centre of the bowls.  Nothing of them actually burns away so that they might get smaller or reduced in size, nor is there any deposit left in the morning. The Iight is spiritual.'

Saint Brendan asked:

'How can an incorporeal Light burn corporeally in a corporeal creature?'

The elder replied:

‘Have you not read of the bush burning at Mount Sinai? Yet that bush was unaffected by the fire.’

They kept vigil the whole night until morning.  Then Saint Brendan asked leave to set out on his journey. The elder said to him:

'No, father. You must celebrate Christmas with us until the octave of the Epiphany. The holy father, therefore, with his company stayed that time with the twenty-four fathers in the Island of the Community of Ailbe.

The source of the experience

Saint Brendan

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps