Finan (DNB00)

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FINAN, Saint (d. 661), bishop of Lindisfarne, was a monk of Iona, and succeeded Aidan [q. v.] in the see of Lindisfarne in 652. He was ordained in Scotland according to the rites of the Columban church. His diocese at Lindisfarne embraced nearly all Northumbria. He rebuilt his church, after the Scottish fashion, of oaken planks thatched with reeds, and devoted himself to missionary work outside Northumbria. His chief success was in Mercia. Oswiu, king of Northumbria, made the conversion of Peada, Penda's son, a condition of the marriage of the Mercian prince with his own daughter Alchfleda. Finan baptised Peada near the river Tyne, probably at Benwell, and consecrated Diuma, one of his priests, first bishop of Mercia. Similarly with the aid of King Oswiu Finan baptised Sigebert, king of the East-Saxons, at the same place. St. Cedd [q. v.] went from Mercia as a missionary to Sigebert's kingdom, and was consecrated a bishop by Finan when on a visit to him at a later period, in consideration of his success. Finan observed the Columban method of celebrating Easter, and was impervious to argument on the point, although one Ronan, a Scottish priest, who had studied in France and Italy, endeavoured to change his views. Finan died on 31 Aug. 661, but his opposition to the Roman ritual deprived him of a place in the calendar. He appears, however, in the Scottish lists and in the Aberdeen breviary.

[The Rev. Canon Raine in the Dictionary of Christian Biography; Colgan's Acta SS. Hiberniæ, i. 357; Hardy's Cat. i. 1, 59 (Rolls Ser.); Bædæ Eccl. Hist. iii. 21, 22, 25.]