Saint Finbarr

Bishop of Cork
(† Sixth Century)

Saint Finbarr

Saint Finbarr, who lived in the sixth century, was a native of Connaught, Ireland.

He founded a monastery or school at Lough Eire, to which great numbers of disciples flocked, changing, as it were, a desert into a large city.

This was the origin of the city of Cork, built chiefly upon stakes on marshy little islands formed by the river Lea.

The baptismal name of our Saint was Lochan; the surname Finbarr, or Barr the White, was afterwards given him.

He was Bishop of Cork for seventeen years, and died in the midst of his friends at Cloyne, fifteen miles from Cork.

His body was buried in his own cathedral at Cork; his relics were put into a silver reliquary a few years later and kept in the great church, which bears his name to this day.

Saint Finbarr’s cave, or hermitage, used to be shown in a monastery situated to the west of Cork, which tradition affirms was established by the holy bishop.

(SOURCE: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894). )



“Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!

What profit has man from all the labor which he toils at under the sun?

One generation passes and another comes, but the world forever stays.

The sun rises and the sun goes down; then it presses on to the place where it rises.

Blowing now toward the south, then toward the north, the wind turns again and again, resuming its rounds.

All rivers go to the sea, yet never does the sea become full.

To the place where they go, the rivers keep on going.

All speech is labored; there is nothing man can say.

The eye is not satisfied with seeing nor is the ear filled with hearing.

What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done.

Nothing is new under the sun.

Even the thing of which we say, “See, this is new!” has already existed in the ages that preceded us.

There is no remembrance of the men of old; nor of those to come will there be any remembrance among those who come after them.” -Ecclesiastes 1:2-11.