|Thou shalt not covet thy brother's pipkin|
|Ruins of Enda's monastery at Aran|
As an Irish warrior prince, he was eager to marry a worthy woman. His sister Fanchea led a community of virginal Christians -- proto-nuns, I guess. She too is considered a pioneer of Irish monasticism. Somehow he got the idea to ask her to give him one to become his wife. At this point, the story gets murky. These things are apparent.
- Fanchea selected a woman, perhaps on the assurance that her brother would never wage war again.
- The woman died before Enda could marry her.
- Enda bottomed out emotionally when he learned of his intended's death.
- Fanchea persuaded him to sublimate that grief (guilt?) into a religious life.
I prefer to think that the marriage was acceptable to both parties, but that an intervening illness claimed the would-be bride and drove Enda into despondency. Somehow that's the optimistic view.
|St. Fanchea's College U-14 Gaelic Football Team|
Okay, back to the pipkin. Fanchea took three sisters from her proto-convent and brought them to Innish to see how her little brother's monastery was getting along. The sisters were all impressed with the rigors of the brothers' lifestyle. Fanchea declared it was unnecessary for one of Enda's brothers to row them back to the mainland. She simply spread her cloak on the water; it stiffened like a board and each sister stood on a corner. Then it gently began drifting across Galway Bay.
Mid-course, one of the corners started taking on water. The sister standing there confessed that she had admired a PIPKIN that the brothers had, and since they needed one at the convent, she had swiped it. Fanchea told her to toss the thing overboard immediately. Having done so, the cloak re-stiffened and the sisters made it home safely.