May 16: St Brendan (486-575) & St John Nepomucene of Bohemia (1345-1393)

brendanBorn in 486 near Tralee, Brendan was one of the “Twelve Apostles of Ireland.”  He entered the monastic life, founded monasteries at Clonfert, Annadown, Inishadroun and Ardfert.  He was also known as having travelled extensively.  A ninth century legend records a remarkable journey he is said to have made, with a group of monks, across the Atlantic Ocean to the “Promised Land of the Saints,” identified by some as North America; others interpret the tale as a pure fantastical romance.  At any rate, the story was immensely popular, and Irish monks did indeed bring the Gospel to all corners of the earth.  Brendan died in 575. – CTS New Daily Roman Missal 2012, p 2690.

 

john nepomuceneJohn Nepomucene was born in Bohemia in 1345.  In his early childhood, he was cured of a disease through the prayers of his good parents. In thanksgiving, they consecrated him to the service of God. After he was ordained, he was sent to a parish in the city of Prague. He became a great preacher, and thousands of those who listened to him changed their way of life. Father John was invited to the court of Wenceslaus IV. He settled arguments and did many kind deeds for the needy people of the city. He also became the queen’s confessor. When the king was cruel to the queen, Father John taught her to bear her cross patiently. One day, about 1393, the king asked him to tell what the queen had said in confession. When Father John refused, he was thrown into prison. A second time, he was asked to reveal the queen’s confession. “If you do not tell me,” said the king, “you shall die. But if you obey my commands, riches and honor will be yours.” Again Father John refused. He was tortured. The king ordered to be thrown into the river. Where he drowned, a strange brightness appeared upon the water. He is known as the “martyr of the confessional.” He is patron of Czechoslovakia, where he is invoked against floods and against slander. – Catholic Online

 

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