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21st March - Saint Enda

Abbot. Born in Co Meath, during the 6th century, Enda was a boy soldier who became a monk. He was trained at St Ninian's monastery in Whithorn, Galloway and then returned to Drogheda and founded monastic communities in the Boyne valley, before settling in Inishmore in the Aran Islands. This became his base. Many monks came to to join him there including Ciaran of Clonmacnoise.

Enda was the earliest organiser of Irish monasticism, pioneering the movement before Finnian of Clonard. His work affected many in Ireland, England and on the Continent.

According to legend, he was very close to his sister St Fanchea and is said to have made a journey to Rome to be ordained.

St Enda died in 530. Ancient memorials of him survive in Tighlagheany at Inishmore where he is buried. There are some considerable monastic ruins there - some of which date back to the time when he lived there.