Saint Brendan the Navigator from Ireland to Canada (+578) & Tim Severin – The Brendan Voyage (1976–1977)


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Saint Brendan the Navigator

from Ireland to North America (+578)

“They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.”

Psalm 107:23-24

St Brendan, The Navigator was born in Fenit Co. Kerry in 484. Educated by Bishop Erc in Kerry, set his skills to developing his knowledge to the art of ship building and the rules of the seas around Fenit Island. Building a simple boat made out of wood and leather, St Brendan set sail and discovered America in search of the Promised Land of the Saints. His journey and adventures were outlined in his journal the Navigatio Sancti Brendani which even inspired the Great Christopher Columbus himself on his voyage of discovery many years later.

* * *

Our father among the saints Brendan was born about 484 AD to an Irish family near the present city of Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland. At a very young age he began his education in the priesthood and studied under St. Ita at Killeedy. Later he completed his studies under St. Erc, who ordained him in 512 AD.

During the next twenty years of his life, St. Brendan sailed all around the Islands surrounding Erie (Ireland), spreading the word of God and founding monastery after monastery. The most notable of these is Clonfert in Galway, which he founded around 557 AD, and which lasted well into the 1600s. St. Brendan died around 578 AD and his feast day is marked on May 16th.

Brendan’s first voyage took him to the Arran Islands, where he founded a monastery, and to many other islands which he only visited, including Hynba Island off Scotland, where he is said to have met Columcille (Columba). On this voyage he also traveled to Wales, and finally to Brittany, on the northern coast of France.

The event that St. Brendan is most celebrated for, however, is his voyage to the “Land of Promise”. Sometime in his early journeys, St. Brendan heard from another monk the story of a land far to the west, which the Irish claimed was a land of plenty.

He and a small group of monks including, possibly, St. Machutus, fasted for forty days, then set sail for this land in order to investigate and ‘convert’ the inhabitants. Altogether the journey took seven years.

In the ninth century, an Irish monk wrote an account of the voyage in the Navigatio Sancti Brendani (Voyage of St. Brendan). This book remained popular throughout the entire Middle Ages, and made Brendan famous as a voyager.

The account is characterized by a great deal of literary license and contains references to hell where “great demons threw down lumps of fiery slag from an island with rivers of gold fire” and “great crystal pillars”. Many now believe these to be references to the volcanic activity around Iceland, and to icebergs.

Upon reaching their destination, they engaged a guide who took them around the land. They went inland but were prevented from going further by a great river. Soon after this, St. Brendan, and the remainder of his colleagues sailed back to Ireland. Only a few survived the journey.

In modern times the story was dismissed as pure fabrication, but in the 1970′s a man named Tim Severin became fascinated with the story and decided to replicate St. Brendan’s journey. Severin built a boat made of hides tanned with oak bark just like the one described in the ancient text. The hides were sewn together over a bent frame of ash wood and the seams were sealed with animal fat and grease. With a group of volunteers he set sail for America and made his way to Newfoundland. His journey is covered in “The Brendan Voyage: Across the Atlantic in a Leather Boat”.



Tim Severin – The Brendan Voyage (1976–1977)

It is theorized by some scholars, that the Latin texts of Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis (The Voyage of St. Brendan the Abbot) dating back to at least 800 AD tell the story of Brendan’s (c. 489–583) seven-year voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to a new land and his return. Convinced that the “Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis (The Voyage of St. Brendan the Abbot)” was based in historical truth, in 1976 Severin built a replica of Brendan’s currach. Handcrafted using traditional tools, the 36-foot (11 m), two masted boat was built of Irish ash and oak, hand-lashed together with nearly two miles (3 km) of leather thong, wrapped with 49 traditionally tanned ox hides, and sealed with wool grease.

Between May 1976 and June 1977, Severin and his crew sailed the Brendan 4,500 miles (7,200 km) from Ireland to Peckford Island, Newfoundland, stopping at the Hebrides and Iceland en route. He considered that his recreation of the voyage helped to identify the bases for many of the legendary elements of the story: the “Island of Sheep”, the “Paradise of Birds”, “pillars of crystal”, “mountains that hurled rocks at voyagers”, and the “Promised Land”. Severin’s account of the expedition, The Brendan Voyage, became an international best seller, translated into 16 languages.

The boat is now featured at the Craggaunowen open-air museum in County Clare, Ireland.

Source: Wikipedia





The Vikings in Newfoundland: Canada’s first Orthodox parish? – Fr. Geoffrey Korz




The Vikings in Newfoundland: Canada’s first Orthodox parish?

by Fr. Geoffrey Korz

“Where two or three are gathered together in My name,

I am there in the midst of them” – Matthew 18:20



The tiny community of L’Anse aux Meadows at the far northern tip of Newfoundland is distinguished among Canadian heritage sites as the oldest European settlement in Canada. Scarcely a dozen buildings remain of this Viking settlement, constructed over one thousand years ago by a group of Scandinavian settlers who appeared ready to make a new home in the frigid northlands of what would later become Canada.

It is almost certain that the tiny group was led by a Viking named Karlsefni, an associate of Leif Erikson (called Leif the Lucky, for his many extraordinary successes), one of the first Norsemen to accept baptism within a largely pagan culture. By the time these settlers arrived in Canada, Christianity and paganism were living side by side in northern Europe, and had not yet had the opportunity to discover the differences which would inevitably lead to conflict. The Norse were a pragmatic lot, whose religious zeal was usually focused on doing whatever it took to survive and to win. And the Christian God was the ultimate Victor.

A delightful story is told of the curious Viking habit of seeking repeat baptisms; it seems the Norsemen were drawn to baptism, every year, at the hands of Saint Ansgar and others, enjoying the fresh white shirt and ten silver talents they customarily received at the hands of the priest, if only they would allow themselves to be submerged beneath the sacred waters (Joseph Lynch, Christianizing Kinship, p. 73). For the average pragmatic Viking, multiple baptisms simply made sense: it conferred spiritual as well as material benefits desperately needed in a seagoing culture, where life was hard, brutish, and short.

It is understandable that Orthodox clergy in the Norse lands immediately curtailed the Viking zeal for multiple baptisms, just as soon as it came to their attention. (The throngs of Norsemen must have been a bit of a blur to the average missionary priest. One can only imagine the encounters and conversations between the eager Vikings and the bewildered clerics). But just as with mission work today, only God can plumb the depths of the heart of a Christian man, and perhaps the Vikings did have their fair share of zealous converts, offering silver crosses as illustrations to the Odin worshipers of the God Who destroyed Death Itself. For a Norseman, just as for us today, one cannot do better than that.

We know that the Norse seafaring parties who traveled to North America contained mixed crews of Thor-worshipers and Christians (Erikson himself started out as the former, and ended up, rather early in life, as the latter). We also know that one of the parties of settlers his adventures produced the first Canadian-born child of European extraction, a boy named Snorri, whose grandchildren included three bishops right around the time of the Great Schism (news of which traveled very slowly to Viking lands, in any case).

Perhaps here we have a glimpse of the first Christian community in Canada: a tiny one, to be sure, and not organized as far as the Church is concerned. Their firstborn child was almost certainly baptized, although probably back in the old country, once his parents joined their companions and fled from the North American natives who never seemed to take a liking to the Norse tendency to attack on sight. Outnumbered, far from home, and cold (yes, even Vikings get cold), it was perhaps inevitable that the first Orthodox settlement in Canada was not to last. It would seem the unfortunate trend of Orthodox Canadians looking back to the old country and not putting down roots in the west was established early on.

It is almost certain that no Orthodox priest was present at the first settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows. Yet archaeological digs further northwest on Baffin Island present an interesting possibility. A thirteenth-century Thule native site produced an intriguing relic: a tiny carved figure dressed in European clothing, with evidence of a cape over the shoulders, and a long cloth draped around the neck, hanging down to the feet – and marked with a cross. Robert McGhee, who specializes in Arctic archaeology at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, suggests this figure shows a crusader who served as a retainer for a viking captain. This is based on the theory that Christian clergy in northern Europe did not wear pectoral crosses until a much later period.

Yet we know both Saints Cuthbert and Adamnan, saints of the Orthodox west, both wore such crosses, as we can see today on display at the cathedral in Durham, in the north of England. It seems more difficult to believe that a crusader would have traveled thousands of miles with pagan Vikings, rather than a Christian priestmonk, seeking out mission territory, or more likely, seeking a remote monastic home, as we know the Celts did in Greenland centuries before. Whether this figure represented an Orthodox priest or a cleric of the western Latins after the Schism, we’ll likely never know.

But for Orthodox Christians in Canada, the rubble at L’Anse aux Meadows and the carving from Baffin Island remind us that a minute Orthodox presence likely existed in Canada long before two world wars, and long before the Reformation. These facts confirm that the first Christians to set foot on our soil were from what is sometimes erroneously called the “undivided Church” – the Orthodox Church before the breaking away of Rome. And our brother Leif the Lucky, along with his kinsmen at L’Anse aux Meadows – and perhaps even a lone priestmonk on Baffin island, were what one might think of as founding members of the first Orthodox community in Canada – whether they knew it, or not.

Τα Μοναστήρια του π. Εφραίμ Φιλοθεΐτη στις ΗΠΑ & στον Καναδά – Το Grand Canyon της Ορθοδοξίας




 Τα Μοναστήρια του π. Εφραίμ Φιλοθεΐτη στις ΗΠΑ & στον Καναδά

Το Grand Canyon της Ορθοδοξίας

Τούτο το καλοκαίρι είχα την ευκαιρία και τη χαρά, λόγω του ότι ο γιος μου Ιωάννης πήρε τον τίτλο του Διδάκτορα Πολιτικού Μηχανικού από το Πανεπιστήμιο του Άκρον του Οχάιο των ΗΠΑ, να επισκεφθώ μαζί με τη σύζυγό μου τις ΗΠΑ και τον ΚΑΝΑΔΑ από 18/6/2009 μέχρι τις 18/8/2009. Παράλληλα όμως, όπως πολύ επιθυμούσα, επισκέφθηκα ως προσκυνητής μερικά Ελληνικά Ορθόδοξα μοναστήρια, τα οποία ίδρυσε ο ιερομόναχος Γέροντας π. ΕΦΡΑΙΜ, 83 ετών σήμερα, πρώην Ηγούμενος της Ι.Μ. Φιλοθέου του Αγίου Όρους.

Πρώτα επισκέφθηκα το μοναστήρι του Αγ. Αντωνίου το οποίο και ίδρυσε πρώτο στην Αριζόνα περιοχή Φλόρανς, ανάμεσα στην πόλη Φοίνιξ και Τούσον, στην έρημο μέσα, όπου και διαμένει ο πολύ σεβαστός και αγαπητός σε όλο τον κόσμο Γέροντας Εφραίμ. Σαν προσκυνητής επισκέπτης, έμεινα κατάπληκτος θαυμάζοντας και καμαρώνοντας τα Θεάρεστα έργα του, αλλά προπαντός την βαθειά πνευματική τους ζωή και τα αναρίθμητα θαύματα που συνεχώς επιτελούνται. Το χαμογελαστό πάντα πρόσωπό του, η παιδική του αγνότητα, τα λαμπερά του μάτια, λάμπουν και ακτινοβολούν αγάπη, άπειρη καλοσύνη και αγιότητα! Η καλή του φήμη έχει διαδοθεί και απλωθεί σε όλη την Αμερική και στον Καναδά και όλος ο κόσμος τρέχει σ’αυτόν για να εξομολογηθεί, να τον συμβουλευτεί και να του καταθέσει τα προβλήματά του, για να του δώσει λύσεις! Είναι ένας άλλος π. Παίσιος και π. Πορφύριος!

Το μοναστήρι αυτό του Αγ. Αντωνίου και Αγ. Νεκταρίου ευρίσκεται μέσα στην έρημο της Αριζόνας, με θερμοκρασίες που φθάνουν τους 40-45 βαθμούς κελσίου το καλοκαίρι, όπου επιβιώνουν μόνο κάκτοι διαφόρων ειδών, οι οποίοι είναι διατηρητέοι και προστατεύονται από την πολιτεία σαν εθνικό δένδρο. Μερικοί μάλιστα είναι εχθρικοί, προς τον άνθρωπο, διότι μόλις τους πλησιάσει κάποιος του πετούν τα βέλη τους, τις βελόνες τους, και καρφώνουν στο σώμα του. Μέσα λοιπόν σ’αυτή την έρημο ορθώνεται αυτό το αξιοθαύμαστο μοναστήρι του Αγ. Αντωνίου, μια Όαση πραγματική που σκιάζει, δροσίζει, ξεδιψάζει, αναπαύει, στολίζει και ευωδιάζει, όλη τη γύρω περιοχή, με τα 2000 είδη λουλουδιών και πανύψηλων δένδρων, αλλά προπαντός είναι μια ΟΑΣΗ ΠΝΕΥΜΑΤΙΚΗ με το Γέροντα Εφραίμ να παρηγορεί, να ειρηνεύει, να γαληνεύει, να αναπαύει και να θεραπεύει τις αρρώστιες στις απογοητευμένες, ταραγμένες και πονεμένες καρδιές των συνανθρώπων μας!

Καθημερινά υπάρχει μια ουρά από κόσμο που περιμένει εναγωνίως να τον δει, να του μιλήσει και να πάρει την ευχή του και την ευλογία του! Η έρημος έχει Continue reading “Τα Μοναστήρια του π. Εφραίμ Φιλοθεΐτη στις ΗΠΑ & στον Καναδά – Το Grand Canyon της Ορθοδοξίας”

Eastern Orthodox Christian Parishes near Montreal, Canada





Orthodoxy in America

Eastern Orthodox Christian Parishes near Montreal, Canada

St. Nicholas Mission
1 miles
Detail Map 555 Guy #2
Montreal, QC, J3Z 2V5

SS. Peter & Paul Sobor
2 miles
Detail Map 1175 rue Champlain
Montreal, QC, H2L 2R7

St. Nicholas Cathedral
2 miles
Detail Map 422 St Joseph Blvd W
Outremont, PQ, H2V 2P5

Holy Trinity Church
2 miles
Detail Map 351 Mellville Ave.
Westmount, QC, H3Z 2J7

The Sign of the Theotokos Church
2 miles
Detail Map 750 St. Joseph Boulevard East
Montreal, QC, H2J 1K2

St. Markella
2 miles
Detail Map 5390 St. Urbain Street
Montreal, QC, H2T 2X1
(514) 270-4513

The Hellenic Community of Montreal
3 miles
Detail Map 5777 Wilderton Avenue
Montreal, QC, H3S 2V7
(514) 738-2421

St. John the Baptist
3 miles
Detail Map 1841 Masson St
Montreal, QC, H2H lAl

St. Cyril & Methodius & St. Romanos the Melodist Chapel
3 miles
Detail Map 2875 Douglas Ave
Montreal, QC, H3R 2C7

St. George Church
3 miles
Detail Map 555-575 Jean-Talon St E
Montr?al, QC, H2R 1T8

St. Nicholas Church
3 miles
Detail Map 80 de Castelnau St E
Montreal, QC, H2R 1P2

St. John of Rila Church
4 miles
Detail Map c.p. 63610 co. Van Horn
Montreal, QC, H3W 3H8

Evangelismos – Virgin Mary Church
4 miles
Detail Map 777 St. Roch Street
Montreal, QC, H3N 2K3
(514) 273-9796

Koimisis – Virgin Mary Church
4 miles
Detail Map 7700 De L’Epee St. Park Ext.
Montreal, QC, H3N 2E6
(514) 273-9888

St. George
4 miles
Detail Map 2455 Cote St. Catherine Road
Montreal, QC, H3T 1A8
(514) 738-9360

Annunciation Church
4 miles
Detail Map 8080 Ave Christophe-Columb
Montreal, QC, H2R 2S9

St. Dionysios
5 miles
Detail Map 7707 LaSalle Boulevard
Ville LaSalle, QC, H8P 1Y5
(514) 364-5442

Holy Archangels Michael & Gabriel
5 miles
Detail Map 807 Av Sainte-Croix
Saint-Laurent, QC, H4L 3X6

St. Marina
6 miles
Detail Map 5220 Grande Allee
St. Hubert, QC, J3Y 1A1
(514) 656-4832

Virgin Mary Church
6 miles
Detail Map 120 Gouin E
Montreal, QC, H3L 2L9

Επιστροφή στην Ορθοδοξία: Το μακρύ ταξίδι επιστροφής του π. Lawrence Farley, Καναδάς – Από Αγγλικανός ιερέας, Ορθόδοξος ιερέας





π. Lawrence Farley, Καναδάς


Επιστροφή στην Ορθοδοξία:

Το μακρύ ταξίδι επιστροφής του

π. Lawrence Farley, Καναδάς


Στο ταξίδι της επιστροφής μου στην Ορθοδοξία, πήρα το μακρύ δρόμο, έκανα μεγάλους κύκλους. Γεννήθηκα στα προάστια του Toronto, στην περιοχή του Ontario στον Καναδά, και παρακολουθούσα τις Κυριακές το Προτεσταντικό Κατηχητικό Σχολείο, όπως όλα τα άλλα παιδιά της ηλικίας μου. Επειδή η Χριστιανική Πίστη στο σπίτι μου ήταν περισσότερο στο όνομα παρά πραγματική, όταν το Κατηχητικό Σχολείο έγινε βαρετό, σταμάτησα να πηγαίνω και σύντομα βυθίστηκα στήν αγνωστικιστική έφηβική μετριότητα. Δεν με ενδιέφεραι να πάρω απαντήσεις στις απορίες μου περι του Θεού. Περισσότερο ενδιαφερόμουν για τα κορίτσια. (Αν και αυτά ενδιαφερόντουσαν λίγο για μένα.)

Όμως γύρω στα μέσα της εφηβείας μου, σκέφτηκα ότι η ζωή πρέπει να αποτελείται από κάτι περισσότερο από ένα ανόητο χορό των ατόμων, και έτσι πήγα πίσω στην “Ηνωμένη Εκκλησία” ψάχνοντας για απαντήσεις. Εκεί συνάντησα μερικούς ανθρώπους της ηλικίας μου που μου σύστησαν το “Κίνημα του Ιησού” (ήταν 1970), και στο “Κίνημα του Ιησού” γνώρισα καλήτερα τον Κύριο μας Ιησού Χριστό…

… Ένα πράγμα που έλειπε, όμως, από την “Ηνωμένη Εκκλησία”, ήταν κάποια ιστορική μνήμη. Η “Ενωμένη Εκκλησία” στην οποία γεννήθηκα και ανατράφηκα δημιουργήθηκε το 1925 και η μαμά μου δημιουργήθηκε (γεννήθηκε) το 1921, και διαισθάνθηκα ότι η Εκκλησία ενός ατόμου θα πρέπει τουλάχιστον να είναι μεγαλύτερη από ό,τι η μητέρα του ατόμου αυτού. Άρχισα να αναζητώ μία αίσθηση της ιστορίας στην εμπειρία της “Εκκλησίας” μου, μαζί με την ομορφιά στη λατρεία, και μια επιβεβαίωση της πραγματικότητας που είχα βιώσει στο “Κίνημα του Ιησού”. Η φιλελεύθερη “Ηνωμένη Εκκλησία” δεν μπορούσε να μου προμηθεύσει αυτά, έτσι άρχισα να κοιτάζω αλλού.

Ως Προτεστάντης , φυσικά, δεν αλίευα εκτός της προτεσταντικής πισίνας. Έγινα ένας Αγγλικανός, και στη συνέχεια, Αγγλικανός ιερέας.

Είχα χάλια χρονοδιάγραμμα… Για πολύ καιρό προσπάθησα να προσποιηθώ ότι η Αγγλικανική Εκκλησία δεν ήταν απλώς ένα άλλο είδος φιλελεύθερου Προτεσταντισμού. Αλλά η πραγματικότητα είναι ένα αμείλικτο πράγμα, και τελικά είχα να ομολογήσω ότι η Αγγλικανική Εκκλησία στην οποία μπήκα ήταν σε μεγάλο βαθμό, όπως οι “Ηνωμένη Εκκλησία” από την οποία έφυγα. Έτσι, πού να πάω; Στη συνέχεια, προνοητικά, ανακάλυψα την Ορθοδοξία.

… Ο Ρωμαιοκαθολικισμός δεν ήταν ποτέ “στο τραπέζι” για μένα. Κρίμα που οι Ορθόδοξοι δεν μιλούσαν αγγλικά. Όταν σύντομα ανακάλυψα ότι μιλούσαν αγγλικά, γαντζώθηκα. Βρήκα στην Ορθοδοξία τη σύγκλιση των δύο πράγματων που είχα σε αξία πάνω από όλα στην Εκκλησία: μια εμπειρία του Αγίου Πνεύματος και της Πατερικής συνέχειας.

Μεταστροφή για μένα σημαίνει να γυρνάς Σπίτι και η επίλυση των εντάσεων μεταξύ του χαρισματικού και του ιστορικόυ. Καθώς έγινα Ορθόδοξος τα πολύτιμα πράγματα που είχα στο παρελθόν μου, βρήκαν την τελειοποίησή τους και ήμουν πλέον σε θέση να τα απολαύσω στο σωστό χώρο.

Είμαι ευγνώμων στο Θεό, τόσο για όλα τα μέρη που έχω πάει, όσο και για το πού βρίσκομαι τώρα.


Άβελ-Τάσος Γκιουζέλης


Πηγή & αρχικό κείμενο:


Holy Icon of All Saints of Canada & USA




Orthodox Saints of Canada & USA

Biblical Forecasts of Scientific Discoveries – By Dr. Hugh Ross, Astronomer, Canada



Biblical Forecasts of Scientific Discoveries

By Dr. Hugh Ross, Astronomer


January 1, 1976



Not only is the Bible filled with the fundamentals of science, but it is as much as 3,000 years ahead of its time. The Bible’s statements in most cases directly contradicted the science of the day in which they were made. When modern scientific knowledge approaches reality, the divine accuracy of the scriptures is substantiated. For example:

Biblical Statement Science Then Science Now
Earth is a sphere (Is. 40:22). Earth’s a flat disk. Earth is a sphere
Number of stars exceeds a billion (Jer. 33:22). Number of stars totals 1,100 Number of stars exceeds a billion
Every star is different (1 Cor 15:41). All stars are the same. Every star is different.
Light is in motion (Job 38:19-20). Light is fixed in place. Light is in motion.
Air has weight (Job 28:25). Air is weightless. Air has weight.
Winds blow in cyclones (Eccl. 1:6). Winds blow straight. Winds blow in cyclones.
Blood is a source of life and healing (Lev. 17:11). Sick people must bled. Blood is a source of life and healing.

For centuries the conjectures of science also were at odds with Genesis 1 concerning the origin and development of Earth and of life on Earth. However, science has progressed beyond these conjectures and now agrees with Genesis 1 in the initial conditions of Earth, the description of subsequent events, and in the order of these events. The probability that Moses, writing more than 3,400 years ago, would have guessed all these details is less than one in trillions. Below is a partial list of other fundamentals of science explained in the Bible:

  • conservation of mass and energy (Eccl. 1:9; Eccl. 3:14-15).
  • water cycle (Eccl. 1:7; Is. 55:10).
  • gravity (Job 26:7; Job 38:31-33).
  • Pleiades and Orion as gravitationally bound star groups (Job 38:31). NOTE: All other star groups visible to the naked eye are unbound, with the possible exception of the Hyades.
  • effect of emotions on physical health (Prov. 16:24; Prov. 17:22).
  • control of contagious diseases (Lev. 13:4546).
  • importance of sanitation to health (Lev.; Num. 19: Deut. 23:12-13). control of cancer and heart disease (Lev. 7-19).

In the crucible of scientific investigation, the Bible has proven invariably to be correct. No other book, ancient or modem, can make this claim; but then, no other book has been written (through men) by God.

Copyright 1976, Reasons To Believe

Subjects: Creation Passages, General Apologetics , Two Books

Dr. Hugh Ross

Reasons to Believe emerged from my passion to research, develop, and proclaim the most powerful new reasons to believe in Christ as Creator, Lord, and Savior and to use those new reasons to reach people for Christ. Read more about Dr. Hugh Ross.