Saint Brendan - 15 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
THE FIERY MOUNTAIN
THE THIRD LATECOMER TAKEN
ON ANOTHER DAY there appeared to them, as it were through the clouds, a high mountain in the ocean, not far away towards the north. It was very smoky on top. Immediately the wind drew them very fast to the shore of that island until the boat stopped a little distance from the land.
The cliff was so high that they could scarcely see the top of it. It was also the colour of coal and unusually perpendicular, just like a wall.
The one remaining of the three brothers, who followed after Saint Brendan from his monastery, jumped out of the boat and began to walk up to the base of the cliff. Then he cried out:
'Alas for me, father, I am being snatched from you and am powerless to come back to you.'
The brothers straightaway began to turn the boat from the land and call on the Lord, saying:
'Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.’
The venerable father and his companions saw how the unhappy man was carried off by a multitude of demons to be tormented and was set on fire among them. He said:
'Alas for you, my son, that you have received such fate as you have deserved while living.'
Again a favouring wind brought them towards the south. When they looked back for a distance at the island, they saw that the mountain was no longer covered with smoke, but was spouting flames from itself up to the ether and then breathing back, as it were, the same flames again upon itself. The whole mountain from the summit right down to the sea looked like one big pyre.