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  • Who Are The Celtic Saints?

    Who Are The Celtic Saints? by Kathleen Jones. Cutting through the mists of Celtic myth, this historical account introduces the saints as real men and women in the pursuit of holiness. The Celtic period began with Patrick's mission to Ireland in 435 and ended with the submission of the British church to Rome in 715. This book tells the stories of the various branches of the Celtic church during this period and includes biographies of the outstanding personalities of the era. Available from:
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    History Of The Britons (Historia Brittonum) by Nennius

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    52. Having distributed benedictions, and perfected all in the name of the Holy Trinity, he embarked on the sea which is between the Gauls and the Britons; and after a quick passage arrived in Britain, where he preached for some time. Every necessary preparation being made, and the angel giving him warning, he came to the Irish Sea. And having filled the ship with foreign gifts and spiritual treasures, by the permission of God he arrived in Ireland, where he baptized and preached.

    53. From the beginning of the world, to the fifth year of king Logiore, when the Irish were baptized, and faith in the unity of the individual Trinity was published to them, are five thousand three hundred and thirty years.

    54. Saint Patrick taught the gospel in foreign nations for the space of forty years. Endued with apostolical powers, he gave sight to the blind, cleansed the lepers, gave hearing to the deaf, cast out devils, raised nine from the dead, redeemed many captives of both sexes at his own charge, and set them free in the name of the Holy Trinity. He taught the servants of God, and he wrote three hundred and sixty-five canonical and other books relating to the catholic faith. He founded as many churches, and consecrated the same number of bishops, strengthening them with the Holy Ghost. He ordained three thousand presbyters; and converted and baptized twelve thousand persons in the province of Connaught. And, in one day baptized seven kings, who were the seven sons of Amalgaid.[1] He continued fasting forty days and nights, on the summit of the mountain Eli, that is Cruachan-Aichle;[2] and preferred three petitions to God for the Irish, that had embraced the faith. The Scots say, the first was, that he would receive every repenting sinner, even at the latest extremity of life; the second, that they should never be exterminated by barbarians; and the third, that as Ireland[3] will be overflowed with water, seven years before the coming of our Lord to judge the quick and the dead, the crimes of the people might be washed away through his intercession, and their souls purified at the last day. He gave the people his benediction from the upper part of the mountain, and going up higher, that he might pray for them; and that if it pleased God, he might see the effects of his labours, there appeared to him an innumerable flock of birds of many coulours, signifying the number of holy persons of both sexes of the Irish nation, who should come to him as their apostle at the day of judgment, to be presented before the tribunal of Christ. After a life spent in the active exertion of good to mankind, St. Patrick, in a healthy old age, passed from this world to the Lord, and changing this life for a better, with the saints and elect of God he rejoices for evermore.
    [1] King of Connaught.
    [2] A mountain in the west of Connaught, county of Mayo, now called Croagh-Patrick.
    [3] V.R. that no Irishman may be alive on the day of judgment, because they will be destroyed seven years before in honour of St. Patrick.

    55. Saint Patrick resembled Moses in four particulars. The angel spoke to him in the burning bush. He fasted forty days and forty nights upon the mountain. He attained the period of one hundred and twenty years. No one knows his sepulchre, nor where he was buried; sixteen[1] years he was in captivity. In his twenty-fifth year, he was consecrated bishop by Saint Matheus,[2] and he was eighty-five years the apostle of the Irish. It might be profitable to treat more at large of the life of this saint, but it is now time to conclude this epitome of his labours.[3]
    [1] V.R. Fifteen.
    [2] V.R. By the holy bishop Amatheus.
    [3] Here ends the Vatican MS. collated by Mr. Gunn.

    [Here endeth the life of the holy bishop, Saint Patrick.]
    (After this, the MSS. give as 56., the legend of king Arthur, which in this edition occurs in 50.)

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    The Tribes of Britain

    by David Miles. The diverse peoples of Britain and Ireland are revealed not only by physical characteristics but also through structures and settlements, place names and dialects. Using the latest genetic and archaeological research, the author shows how different peoples traded, settled and conquered, establishing the 'tribal' and regional roots still apparent today. Its vast scope considers the impact of prehistoric peoples and Celtic tribes, Romans and Vikings, Saxons and Normans, Jews and Huguenots, as well as the increasing population movements of the last century. Available from:  

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