Saintsbridge: Celts to the Crèche



to the 


 Celtic Advent Devotional

November 15-December 24

Welcome to A Forty Day Advent Pilgrimage

to the

Crèche in Bethlehem with

Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Saints 

Virgin Mary with Infant Jesus from the Book of Kells. Trinity College, Dublin

    Mary with Infant Jesus from the Book of Kells. Trinity College, Dublin

The early Celtic monks would get into their little leather boats called coracles, paddle out to the sea, pull their oars into the boat, and pray, “Spirit, blow me to my place of Resurrection.” Wherever they landed, was to be the place chosen by the Spirit where they would live, share the Gospel, and experience their future Day of Resurrection at the end of their earthly life.  In our sacred imagination, let us jump into our little coracle and ask the Spirit to blow us to places we never dreamed or imagined as we journey together with the Celts to the Crèche, where Christ is born anew in our lives this holy season.

A note as we begin this pilgrimage.  Thank you so much for joining me and others from around the world on this Celts to the Crèche 40 days of Advent pilgrimage. I am passionate about the Celtic and Anglo-Saxon saints, so if there is too much information for you, just read the first short section of each day’s post, browse through the photos, and scroll down the page to the “Meditation.” You will still get a good sense of that saint’s life and work.

I first became acquainted with the Celtic and Anglo-Saxon saints with a surprise encounter with St. Hilda of Whitby  when I was in a History of Christianity course in seminary. That glimpse behind the “thin veil,”(that almost gossamer veil between earth and the heavenlies) with this powerful, deeply spiritual, brilliant 7th century Abbess was transformative (to say the least!)

I began an in-depth study of each of these Celtic and Anglo-Saxon saints and pilgrimaged to many of the places they lived, ministered, and worshipped in England, Scotland, Wales, and France. It is my hope and prayer as you read these daily meditations throughout this Celtic Advent season, that one of these saints may also touch your life as Hilda did mine and become a soul friend on the other side of the thin veil. Of course, the primary reason this Celtic Advent pilgrimage devotional is provided is to daily allow our lives to be transformed into a crèche (manger) where Jesus the Christ is born anew. 

Blow, Spirit, Blow Us to Places We Never Dreamed or Imagined 

Leather Coracles were often used by the Celtic saints. Let us visualize daily entering our little coracle to continue on our pilgrimage with the Celtic and Anglo-Saxon saints to the creche where Christ is born anew in our lives this Advent season.  photo from boats


A Prayer for our Advent Pilgrimage with Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Saints

God be with us at each stop and each sea;

At each lying down and each rising up;

In the trough of the waves;

On the crest of the billows;

Each step of the journey we take.

Day One 11/15    St. Aidan of  Lindisfarne

Day Two 11/16    St. Hilda of Whitby

Day Three 11/17  St. Hereswith

Day Four 11/18    St. Columba of Iona

 Day Five 11/19    St. Brigid of Kildare  

Day Six 11/20       St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne 

Day Seven 11/21  Bishop Eadfrith of    Lindisfarne

Day Eight 11/2      St. Columbanus

Day Nine 11/23    St. Winifred of Wales 

Day Ten 11/24       St. Fursey

Day Eleven 11/25  St. Bertha of Kent

Day Twelve 11/26  St. John of Beverley 

Day Thirteen 11/27 St. Ita of Ireland

Day Fourteen 11/28 Abbess Ethelburga of Barking

Day Fifteen 11/29    A Band of Brothers, Cedd, Chad, Cynibil, and Caelin

Day Sixteen 11/30   John O’Donohue of Ireland 

Day Seventeen 12/1 King Aldwulf of East Anglia

Day Eighteen 12/2    Pelagius

Day Nineteen 12/3    St. Bathilde of Chelles

Day Twenty 12/4      St. Brendan the Navigator

Day Twenty-One 12/5 Abbess Burgundofara of Faremoutiers

Day Twenty-Two 12/6 Abbesses Beatrice (Bethoc) and Anna of Iona Abbey

Day Twenty-Three 12/7 The Venerable Bede

Day Twenty-Four 12/8  Heiu of Tadcaster

Day Twenty-Five 12/9   St. Colman of Lindisfarne 

Day Twenty-Six 12/10   St. Bega of Bees

Day Twenty-Seven 12/11Abbess Aebbe of Coldingham

Day Twenty-Eight 12/12 St. Deiniol of Wales

Day Twenty-Nine 12/13 Abbess Aefflaed of Whitby

Day Thirty 12/14           St. Ninian of Whithorn

Day Thirty-One 12/15   St. Non of Wales

Day Thirty-Two 12/16   Abbess Werburga of Chester

Day Thirty-Three 12/17  St. Frideswide of Oxford 

Day Thirty-Four 12/18    Benedict Biscop of Monkwearmouth and Jarrow

Day Thirty-Five 12/19      St. Canaire of Ireland

Day Thirty-Six 12/20       Abbess Theodechilde of Jouarre

Day Thirty-Seven 12/21   Birr, Muirchu, and Moneisen

Day Thirty-Eight 12/22     St. Gertrude of Nivelles

Day Thirty-Nine 12/23      St. Buriana of Cornwall

Day Forty 12/24                  Dr. Michelle P. Brown’s Guest Post of St. Patrick of Ireland           

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