Workshops in Ireland
In the footsteps of the Celtic Christian monks
This year’s workshops are combined with a journey in the footsteps of Irish monasticism, which will be concluded with work in a scriptorium. Scriptorium, which this time we will set up in the monastery in Glenstal.
Departure from Poland 4 August. Tour 5–10 August. Workshop: 11–13 August,
Christianity arrived at the Emerald Isle before St. Patrick, who evangelised Ireland in the second quarter of the 5th century. On gentle hills or small islands, often far away from human settlements, monasteries were beginning to grow and vibrate with intense life. Irish monks prayed and copied books. In Ireland there were no organised cities at this time, monasteries became centres, drawing people—they were places of prosperity, art and science. Thomas Cahill writes wonderfully about what scriptoria looked like:
“Irish generosity extended not only to a variety of people but also to a variety of ideas. As unconcerned about orthodoxy of thought as they were about uniformity of monastic practice, they brought into their libraries everything they could lay their hands on. They were resolved to shut out nothing. Not for the scruples of Saint Jerome, who feared he might burn in hell for reading Cicero. Once they had learned to read the Gospels and the other books of the Holy Bible, the lives of the martyrs and ascetics, and the sermons and commentaries of the fathers of the church, they began to devour all of the Greek and Latin literature that came their way. (…) Nothing brought out Irish playfulness more than the copying of the books themselves, a task no reader of the ancient world could entirely neglect. At the outset there were in Ireland no scriptoria to speak of, just individual hermits and monks, each in his little beehive cell or sitting outside in fine weather, copying a needed text from a borrowed book, old book on one knee, fresh sheepskin pages on the other.”
This is the spirit we will be looking for in Ireland this year!
The Glenstal Abbey video: