Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Are you familiar with Saint Patrick and The Book of Kells?
The Book of Kells
Kevin and I went to Dublin in 2014 and got to see the famous Book of Kells on display at Trinity College. It’s an amazing piece of art designed for use on an alter—a legacy left by monks at Iona and Kells.
The Book of Kells is the most lavishly decorated of a series of gospel manuscripts produced between the seventh and ninth centuries, when Irish art and culture flourished at home and in centers of Irish missionary activity overseas. It’s amazing and so beautiful. Check out the link above for more information and pictures.
That year we traveled to Dublin, I read How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill. He writes, “The first Christian missionary for whom we have extensive documentation is Paul, an apostle appointed by vision. Patrick may be the second such appointment, four centuries later.”
After escaping (slavery in Ireland) and returning home to Britain, he sees and hears the Irish calling him back to walk among them in his dreams, and Christ begins to speak within him “He who gave his life for you, he it is who speaks within you.” Patricius, the escaped slave, is about to be drafted once more – as Saint Patrick, apostle to the Irish nation. He was the first missionary to barbarians beyond the reach of Roman law.
After the fall of Rome, learning and culture disappeared from Europe during the dark ages. If not for the holy men and women of unconquered Ireland (Patrick’s successors), Greek and Roman classics and Jewish and Christian works would have been lost. In that way, the Irish saved civilization. Crazy to think about! Cahill refers to it as a hinge in history.
Have you been to Ireland? Comment below!