Saint Name: Saint Finbar
Feast: September 25
Saint Finbar who was born on 550 in Irish Fionnbharra, was Bishop of Cork and abbot of a monastery in what is now Cork city, Ireland. He is patron saint of the city and of the Diocese of Cork. His feast day is September 25.
He was the son of an artisan and a lady of the Irish royal court. Born in Connaught, Ireland, and baptized Lochan, he was educated at Kilmacahil, Kilkenny, where the monks named him Fionnbharr (white head) because of his light hair; he is also known as Bairre and Barr. He went on pilgrimage to Rome with some of the monks, visiting St. David in Wales on the way back. Supposedly, on another visit to Rome the Pope wanted to consecrate him a bishop but was deterred by a vision, notifying the pope that God had reserved that honor to Himself, and Finbar was consecrated from heaven and then returned to Ireland. At any rate, he may have preached in Scotland, definitely did in southern Ireland, lived as a hermit on a small island at Lough Eiroe, and then, on the river Lee, founded a monastery that developed into the city of Cork, of which he was the first bishop. His monastery became famous in southern Ireland and attracted numerous disciples.
He is reputed to have built small churches in various other places, including one in Ballineadig, County Cork, called Cell na Cluaine, anglicized as Cellnaclona and sometimes referred to as Cloyne, causing it to be confused with Cloyne (Cluain Uamha) in east Cork.
He settled for about the last seventeen years of his life in the area then known as "Corcach Mór na Mumhan"(the Great Marsh of Munster), now the city of Cork, where he gathered around him monks and students. This became an important centre of learning, giving rise to the phrase "Ionad Bairre Sgoil na Mumhan" "Where Finbarr taught let Munster learn", is the motto of today's University College Cork in English but is not a translation of the Irish motto "Ionad Bairre Sgoil na Mumhan" which means "Finbarr's foundation, the School of Munster."