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Saint Brendan - 10 The Voyage of Saint Brendan

Identifier

015600

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

The objective here is to build a story based on symbols, however, there are two layers of meaning, the first is shown in the symbol list.

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

THE ISLAND OF THE THREE CHOIRS

OR ANCHORITES    A LATECOMER STAYS

ONE DAY they saw an island a long distance away from them. Saint Brendan said:

'Do you see that island?'

They replied:

'We do.'

He said to them:

'Three choirs of people are in that island: one of boys, another of youths, a third of elders. And one of your brothers will remain on pilgrimage there’………………

They approached the island until the boat put in at the shore. The island was extraordinarily flat, so much so that it seemed to them to be level with the sea. It had no trees or anything that would move with the wind. It was very spacious and covered with white and purple fruit. ……..

'l have never seen or gathered fruit of such size.'

They were all of equal size and like a large ball.

The man of God then asked that a vessel be brought to him. He squeezed one of the fruits and got a pound of juice from it, which he divided into twelve ounces. The holy father gave an ounce of the juice to each of the brothers. One fruit, therefore, fed one brother for twelve days so that he always had in his mouth the taste of honey.

THE ISLAND OF GRAPES

Now on the third day they saw an island not far from them, covered completely with densely planted trees bearing the same crop of grapes of such incredible fertility that all the trees were bent down to the ground, with the same fruit of the same colour. No tree was barren, nor was there a tree of any other kind in that island. The brothers then put into harbour. The man of God disembarked and began to walk round the island. It had a perfume like that of a house filled with pomegranates. Meanwhile the brothers were waiting in the boat until the man of God should return to them. All the while the breeze bore in on them a sweet perfume, so that they were tempted to be heedless of their fasts. The venerable father found six copious wells full of flourishing plants and roots of many kinds. He then returned to his brothers, carrying with him some of the first fruits of the island and said to them:

'Disembark, pitch your tent and refresh yourselves with the good fruits of this land that the Lord has shown us.'

And so for forty days they fed on the grapes and on the plants and roots of the wells. But at the end of that time they embarked, bringing with them as much of the fruits as their boat could carry.

The source of the experience

Saint Brendan

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Commonsteps

References