St Patrick, the patron saint of the Emerald Isle, is so popular there’s an entire day dedicated to his memory and his achievements all across the world. As March is the month of Irish heritage, St Patrick’s Day and commemorations of Irish culture everywhere what better time to immerse yourself in all things Irish and learn more about the man himself? Take a look at some of our books below, which all feature fantastic tales and legends, informative and helpful commentary about St Patrick as well as many more important saints that each play a significant role in Irish history and traditions. Learn the real stories of St Brigid and St Columba, the positive influence of Celtic spirituality – how it can make an impact in our daily lives and the genuine accounts of legends you may have learned about in your childhood re-imagined as an adult.
John J Ó Ríordáin C.Ss.R
These short popular essays on fourteen well-known and well-loved early Irish saints present a very readable and informative amalgam of often scarce historical fact and much folklore and legend from the tradition of the people. Fr Ó Ríordáin introduces the book with an overview of the sources for information on these saints which includes a most informative and helpful commentary on what the authors of the early lives of the saints saw as their function – something very different from the function of a modern-day biographer.
The saints include Patrick, Brigid, Colmcille, Enda, Brendan the Navigator, Cummian the Tall, Ciarán of Clonmacnoise, Ninnidh, Ita, Kevin, Adomnán, Cainnech, Columbanus and Gall.
This book outlines how Celtic Spirituality is a legitimate and helpful response to the modern move away from traditional spiritualities, which have left many people in search of a new way of connecting to their beliefs. At its best, Celtic spirituality seems to fill a real need, and whether it is historically true, it has developed in its own right. However, it is also true that much of what is called Celtic is derived from what others have written, often known at third hand, which has then been cited as fact or adapted by new writers. Either way, it is worth considering how and why this has happened to learn more about how Celtic spirituality has developed, why it is so important at present, and how, in spite of these drawbacks, it remains so attractive.
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Lough Derg: St Patrick’s Purgatory
The tradition of pilgrimage to the island of Lough Derg dates back to the earliest days of Christianity in Ireland, possibly further, and it is still popular today. This book outlines the island’s history and its pilgrimage, the legend of St. Patrick’s cavernous purgatory, the vigil, the journey, the prayers, and its modern relevance.
Grace Clunie & Tess Maginess
The Celtic Spirit and Literature offers a lively and thoughtful introduction to the rich and complex world of Celtic Spirit, past, present and to come. It explores how over many centuries up to the present day. The book is perfectly tailored for those of us who would like to understand how the Celtic Spirit can still operate in our lives, enabling us to be a welcoming people, respectful of the gifts of nature, and imaginatively open to ‘otherworlds’ and the worlds of others. The extraordinary tenacity and variety of the Celtic spirit can be demonstrated through an exploration of modern Irish literature, including works by Flann O’Brien, Patrick Kavanagh and Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney, and contemporary writers such as Colum McCann.
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