Saintsbridge: Celts to the Creche


Celts to the Crèche 

 A Celtic Advent Devotional

November 15-December 24

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

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 11/22  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 A Band of Brothers: Cedd, Chad, Cynibil, Caelin

Day Fifteen 11/29  Abbess Ethelburga of Barking

Day Sixteen 11/3  John O’Donohue of Ireland

Day Seventeen 12/1  King Aldwulf

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 & Anna of Iona Nunnery

Day Twenty-Three 12/7  The Venerable Bede

Day Twenty-Four 12/8 Abbess Heiu of Tadcaster

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

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

Day Twenty-Seven 12/11 Abbess Aebbe of Coldingham

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

Day Twenty-Nine 12/13 Abbess Ælfflæd 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, Abbess of Oxford

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

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

Day Thirty-Six 12/20 Theodechilde, Abbess of Jouarre

Day Thirty-Seven 12/21 St. Brendan of Birr, Muirchú, 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


Celtic Advent Pilgrimage Begins!

 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 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, 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 the History of Christianity course in seminary. That glimpse behind the “thin veil” with this powerful, deeply spiritual, brilliant 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. It is my hope and prayer as you read these daily devotionals throughout this 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 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 

Leather Coracle. photo from boats

A Celtic Prayer for Pilgrimage

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.