Celtic Heritage Saints

Book cover: 'Celtic Heritage Saints'
Marian Keaney
Veritas Press
Number of pages: 
74 pages
Grade / Age level: 

This book offers short, readable biographies of sixteen of Ireland (and Scotland's) greatest saints (covering the years from St. Patrick through 1142). The writing style and illustrations are reminiscent of Once Upon a Time Saints by Ethel Pochocki (Bethlehem Books). Despite the simplicity of the book (approximately a 4th grade reading level) it covers an important and oft-forgotten part of Catholic history. The great monasteries of Ireland fostered learning, culture and faith that eventually spread to all of Europe (through the help of some of the great missionary saints portrayed in this book) and was a major factor in the renewal of the Catholic faith after the fall of the Roman Empire and the conquests of Europe by the barbarians. The stories are of the following saints: St. Patrick, St. Ciaran of Clonmacnoise, St. Enda of Aran, St. Brendan the Navigator, St. Kilian (Apostle of Franconia), St. Brigid Mary of Gael, St. Columbanus of Bobbio, St. Colmcille Dove of the Church, St. Finian of Clonard, St. Malachy O Morgair, St. Hilda of Whitby, St. Carthage of Lismore, St. Margaret of Scotland, St. Dympna of Gheel, St. Kevin of Glendalough, and St. Comgall of Bangor.

My children enjoyed the stories as a read aloud (especially appropriate for celebrating Saint Patrick's day, but it would also make an enjoyable and very worthwhile addition/supplement to a study of this era of history for almost any grade level.

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