ENDA (ENNA), SAINT, OF ARAN: Founder of the first of the great Irish monastic schools, at Killeany ("Church of Enna"), on the largest of the Aran Islands (Inishmore), off Galway Bay; d. c. 540. According to his fourteenth-century life he was of royal descent and a mighty warrior in his youth; converted by a pious sister, he became a monk. He studied in Britain (probably at Candida Casa; see NINIAN, SAINT), and founded a monastery on the Continent (according to some at Rome, according to others in Brittany). Returning to Ireland he established himself on Inishmore, where Ciaran of Clonmacnoise, Brendan, Finnian of Moville, Columba, and other famous abbots and bishops were among his pupils. So many resorted to the island that it received the name of Aran of the Saints. It is still full of highly interesting remains of both pagan and early Christian times.


Bibliography: Lanigan, Eccl. Hist., i. 396 400; J. Healy, Insula sanctorum, pp. 163 187, Dublin, 1890.