FINNIAN, SAINT, OF CLONARD: The chief of the " second order of Irish saints "; b. in Leinster; d. at Clonard (in the southwest corner of County Meath, about 30 miles from Dublin) Dec. 12, c. 550. He is said to have visited Tours, to have spent several years in study at Menevia (St. David's) in Wales, and to have become acquainted there with David, Gildas, and Cadoc. He founded many monasteries and churches in his native land, of which Clonard (founded about 520) became the most famous of all the great Irish schools of the sixth century. Scholars came there from all parts of Ireland and their number is said to have reached three thousand. Finnian acquired the title of "tutor of Erin's saints" and certain of his disciples, chosen by him and including Brendan, Ciaran of Saigir, Ciaran of Clonmacnoise, and others with himself were known as the " twelve apostles of Ireland."
Bibliography: ASB, March, ii. 445-447; C. do Smedt and J. de Backer, 'Acts Sanctorum Hibernia, pp. 189-210, Edinburgh, 1888; Lanigan, Eccl. Hist., i. 464-489; ii. 2122; Whitley Stokes, Lives of Saints from the Book of Lismore, pp. 75-83, 222-230, 342-346 Oxford, 1890; J. Healy, Insula eanctorum, pp. 188-208, Dublin, 1890; DNB, xix. 39-41,
FINNIAN, SAINT, OF MOVILLE: Irish saint of the " second order "; d. at Moville (at the head of Strangford Lough, 10 m. e. of Belfast), Sept. 10, c. 579. He is said to have been of a noble family, living near Strangford Lough. After studying in his own land, he went to Candida Casa in Galloway (see Ninian, Saint), then to Rome. Returning to Ireland he founded the monastery at,Moville about 540. It was long a famous and prosperous school, representing North British traditions with those of Rome added, as the foundation of the other Finnian represented Welsh teachings. It is said that he brought from Rome a copy of the Vulgate and from this his disciple Columba transcribed the Psalter. Finnian then claimed the transcription because made from his book, while Columba insisted that it was his because it was his work. The dispute led to a battle and was one of the causes which sent Columba to Scotland (see Columba).
Bibliography: Lanigan, Eccl. Hist., ii. 25-28; J. Healy, Insula sanctomm, pp. 245-257.
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