St. Brendan (or Brandan - Brandão in Portuguese) was an Irish monk, born about 484 B.C. in Tralee. According to medieval legend, Brendan embarked on a seven-year voyage through the Atlantic in search of the Paradise. The legends recount his amazing adventures, including an encounter with a whale, pictured above, upon whose back he held Easter communion (they thought it was an island!). Brendan and his band of 60 monks eventually discovered a brightly-lit land through which flowed a great river. After wandering the land for 40 days in an unsuccessful search for the farthest shore, they filled their ships with precious gems and returned home. Brendan died soon afterward, but his fabulous island (referred as St. Brendan's Island, Fortunate Islands or even Brazil Island) became a standard feature on maps for the next millenia. The Navigatio Sancti Brendani, which dates from the 11th century, contains the earliest surviving version of this story.