Spirituality for Today – March 2016 – Volume 20, Issue 8

Saint of the Month
Saint Enda

March 21

A photo of Church on the island of ArranA Church on the island of Arran

Not long after St. Patrick converted the Irish to Christianity, Enda was born. Early in life, Enda was a soldier, but later he became a monk. Accounts differ on how Enda decided to become a man of god.

According to one story, Enda's sister Fanchea, the abbess and future saint, convinced Enda to marry. When his financee was discovered dead, however, Enda took her death as a sign that he should dedicate his life to God. He then went to Rome and was ordained a priest. After a few years, Enda returned to Ireland, where he lived as a monk.

A more likely story is that after serving as a soldier, Enda decided he needed to lead a more spiritual life. So he entered St. Ninian's monastery of Whithorn and started his monastic career.

After some time, Enda's brother–in–law Engus, king of Munster, gave Enda the Island of Arra, where Enda founded Innismore and trained a great number of disciples, who became widely known for their sanctity. The future SS. Kiernan and Brendan were among the many who were taught at Innismore. In fact, so many holy men and women were trained by Enda at Innismore that the island of arra was given the name "Arran of the Saints."

Enda was the first to organize monastic life in Ireland. After Innismore, he later established a number of other monasteries in the Boyne Valley. His influence spread throughout Ireland, England and even Europe. Enda died around 530, and was buried at Innismore, where the remains of the monastic communities of his time can still be seen.

Holy St. Enda,
you taught some of the great early saints of Ireland.
Teach me also to know and to do God's will.
Teach me to realize the true values of life,
to focus on love and not worldly possessions.
Teach me to value silence and contemplation
so that I may come to know God and hear His voice.
Teach me to live as Jesus would have me live,
He who gave up His life for love of us.


From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives