Finan of Lindisfarne

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"Finan" redirects here. For the surname, see Finan (surname).
Finan of Lindisfarne
Bishop of Lindisfarne
See Diocese of Lindisfarne
Installed 651
Term ended 661
Predecessor Aidan
Successor Colmán
Personal details
Born Ireland
Died 17 February 661
Ireland
Denomination Catholic
Sainthood
Feast day 17 February, 9 February

Finan of Lindisfarne (died 17 February 661), also known as Saint Finan, was an Irish monk, trained at Iona in Scotland, who became the second Bishop of Lindisfarne from 651 until 661.[1]

Life[edit]

Originally from Ireland, he built on Lindisfarne, a cathedral "in the Irish fashion", employing hewn oak, with a thatched roof, dedicated to St. Peter. He also founded St. Mary's at the mouth of the River Tyne.[2] He converted the kings Sigebert of Essex[3] and Peada of the Middle Angles to Christianity.[4] Bede is the main source for Finan's life.[3] He is specially noticed by the Venerable Bede as having borne an important part in the conversion of the northern Saxons.[5]

The breviary of Aberdeen styles him "a man of venerable life, a bishop of great sanctity, an eloquent teacher ... remarkable for his training in virtue and his liberal education, surpassing all his equals in every manner of knowledge as well as in circumspection and prudence, but chiefly devoting himself to good works and presenting in his life, a most apt example of virtue".[2] Finan ordained St. Cedd bishop of the East-Saxons, having called two other bishops to assist at his consecration.

The Abbey of Whitby, his chief foundation, was the scene of the famous Paschal controversy, which resulted in the withdrawal of the Irish monks from Lindisfarne.[2]

Finan was active for some time at a monastery on Church Island on Lough Currane in County Kerry; today it is known as St. Finan's Church. To the south of the lake is Inis Uasal (Noble Island), an island which is dedicated to him.[6]

Finan died and was buried at Lindisfarne, having held that see ten years.

Veneration[edit]

St. Finan's feast day is celebrated upon 9 January.[5]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  • Kirby, D. P. (2000). The Earliest English Kings. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-24211-8. 
  • Powicke, F. Maurice and E. B. Fryde Handbook of British Chronology 2nd. ed. London:Royal Historical Society 1961
  • Walsh, Michael A New Dictionary of Saints: East and West London: Burns & Oats 2007 ISBN 0-86012-438-X

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Aidan
Bishop of Lindisfarne
651–661
Succeeded by
Colmán