Sunday 25 September 2022

'A Lion of Strength': Saint Finbarr of Cork

The following abstract of the character of this holy man [Saint Finbarr] is from the Irish and Latin lives:

"His humility, his piety, his charity, his abstinence, his prayers by day and by night, won him great privileges: for he was godlike and pure of heart and mind like Abraham; mild and well-doing like Moses; a Psalmist like David; wise like Solomon; devoted to the truth like Paul the Apostle; and full of the Holy Spirit like John the Baptist. He was a lion of strength, and an orchard full of apples of pleasure. When the time of his death arrived, after erecting churches and monasteries to God, and appointing over them Bishops; Priests, and other degrees, and baptising and blessing districts and people, Barre went to Cill-na-cluana (Cloyne) and with him went Fiana, at the desire of Cormac and Baoithin, where they consecrated two churches. Then he said, it is time for me to quit this corporeal prison and to go to the heavenly King, who is now calling me to himself; and then Barra was confessed, and received the sacrament from the hand of Fiana, and his soul went to heaven, at the cross which is in the middle of the church of Cloyne. And there came Bishops, Priests, Monks, and Disciples, on his death being reported, and to honour him; and they took him to Cork the place of his resurrection, honouring him with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, and the angels bore his soul with joy unspeakable to heaven, to the company of the Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, and Disciples of Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Trinity, The Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost." Amen.

 R. Caulfield, ed., The Life of Saint Fin Barre, First Bishop and Founder of the See of Cork (London, 1864),  


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