December 18: St. Flannan
Flannan lived around the seventh century. He was the son of an Irish chieftain named Turlough. Flannan was educated by the monks. He also learned farming from them. When he was a grown man, Flannan decided to make a pilgrimage to Rome. In Rome, Pope John IV made him a bishop. The pope did this because he recognized the wisdom and holiness of the man. When St. Flannan returned to Ireland, all the people of his region, Killaloe, came to meet him. They were eager to learn the instructions the saint had brought back from the pope of Rome.
St. Flannan taught his people so well that even his father decided to become a monk. The old chieftain went to St. Colman to be instructed in the life of a monk. At the same time, he asked for a blessing for his family, since three of his sons had been killed. St. Colman predicted: "From you shall seven kings spring." And so it happened.
St. Flannan was afraid that since he was one of the family, he, too, might be made king. So he prayed to become ugly, and his face was soon covered with big scars and rashes. He made this unusual request because he wanted to be free to follow his vocation. He wanted to devote himself entirely to the service of God and his people.
Using his gifts and talents, Flannan was able to follow the will of God in his life. Is there a gift I can use today to serve God?