November 15 is the feast day of Saint Fintan of Rheineau, one of the Irish saints who laboured in continental Europe. In a paper on the life of the saint which I have today reproduced in full at my other site here, Father J.F. Hogan records how Saint Fintan carried devotion to the three Irish patrons with him to his new home in Switzerland. On Saint Brigid's Day he once performed a miracle which would have indeed gladdened the heart of our national patroness by providing bread to the poor in a true feeding of the five thousand fashion:
It was usually on the feast days of St. Patrick, St. Bridget, St. Aidan, and St. Columbkille, that the most important manifestations of the will of Heaven were made to him. Once on the feast day of St. Bridget* he multiplied, by a miracle, his small allowance of bread, and supplied with it a large number of people who suffered from the famine which then decimated the country.
*"In festivitate quippe Sanctae Brigitae virginis, non modicam pauperum turbam, ut sibi mos erat, collegit. Carnem totam quam habuit juxta numerum adgregatorum, particulatim incidi praecipit: hoc autem facto ecce tanti pauperes ut aderant improvise venerunt. Vir vero beatus in adventu eorum Deo gratias agens, particulas quas ad numerum prius commeantium parare jussit, in Dei largitate confisus, qui quinque panes inter quinque millia virorum multiplicavit, distribui fecit. Sed licet numenis geminaretur egenorum ut nihil de carnibus vel ab illo vel a quoquam adderetue, unicuique tamen sua particula ex eadem caruncula inveniebatur."— Vita apud Mabillon.
J.F. Hogan, 'Saint Fintan of Rheinau' in Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Vol. XIV (1893), 393.
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