Brendan the Navigator

In this episode, we look at the life – a legendary voyage – of Irish monk Saint Brendan of Clonfert (aka Brendan the Navigator, Brendan the Voyager, and Brendan the Bold). We dive into the text of Brendan’s voyage to paradise – and investigate what – if any of it – has a place in the real world. Could Brendan have reached North America a thousand years before Columbus? And 500 years before the Vikings?

Download this episode or listen online.


The Voyage of St Brendan the Abbot (PDF) – this is an English translation of Brendan’s story – Navigatio sancti Brendani abbatis.

Brendan’s Fabulous Voyage by John Patrick Crichton Stuart Bute. From 1893, this is actually lecture going through Brendan’s voyage – and quite informative – especially considering its age.

The Brendan Voyage by Tim Severin. This book chronicles the author’s construction of a traditional curragh and his voyage across the Atlantic.

Brendan’s Wikipedia page.


Statue of Brendan in The Square Bantry, County Cork, Ireland.
The Voyage of Saint Brendan by Edward Reginald Frampton, 1908