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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume III: March. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

March 16

St. Finian, surnamed Lobhar, or the Leper

HE was son of Conail, descended from Kian, the son of Alild, king of Munster. He was a disciple of St. Brendan, and flourished about the middle of the sixth century. He imitated the patience of Job under a loathsome and tedious distemper, from which his surname was given him. The famous abbey of Innisfallen, which stood in an island of that name, in the great and beautiful lake of Lough-Lane in the county of Kerry, was founded by our saint. 1 A second, called from him Ardfinnan, he built in Tipperary; and a third at Cluain-more Madoc, in Leinster, where he was buried. He died on the 2nd of February; but, says Colgan, his festival is kept on the 16th of March, at all the above-mentioned places. Sir James Ware speaks of two MS. histories of his life. See also Usher, (Antiq. c. 17.) Colgan, 17 Martii. Mr. Smith, in his natural and civil history of the county of Kerry, in 1755, p. 127.  1
Note 1. In the monastery of Innis-fallen was formerly kept a chronicle called the Annals of Innis-fallen. They contain a sketch of universal history, from the creation to the year 430. From that time the annalist amply enough prosecutes the affairs of Ireland down to the year 1215, when he wrote. They were continued by another hand to 1320. They are often quoted by Bishop Usher and Sir James Ware. An imperfect transcript is kept among the MSS. of the library of Trinity college, Dublin. Bishop Nicholson, in his Irish Historical Library, informs us, that the late duke of Chandos had a complete copy of them. [back]