The Anglican Communion recognizes all the great and Holy Early Church fathers, just as our Orthodox and Roman Catholic brothers and sisters do. But we do hold a special place in our hearts for St. Ninian, a pioneer in the Christian faith during the fourth century who established a monastery in a remote isle location in Scotland.
I found a little thumbnail on the Internet that I couldn’t seem to enlarge. It was what is left of the Chapel of Ninian at the Isle of Whitby (Whithorn in his native language). Bishop Ninian is considered Scotland’s first Saint (see my Homemaking in Lent post about the very brief history of Christianity in Great Britain to understand how Christianity was pushed into Wales, Scotland and Cornwall).
There is not much known about St. Ninian. It is almost certain that was a Briton and that he traveled to Rome for training – so therefore, he was more tied into the Roman Church of the time than the Celtic Church. His monastery was a center of learning and it was called the Candida Casa, the “white house”. From there, he went out to the Picts and other neighboring tribes and took the news of Christianity with him. Part of the legend around him stipulates that he sowed seeds that grew so fast they became mature plants in a day and that is how the monastery received its food and survived. He planted his ideas and faith in those studying with him, and St. Kentigern, or Mungo as some of you may know him, became one of the most famous. Continue reading
In homemaking, one thing I would like to encourage is to give value to the innermost experiences of your soul, not just the outward. In other words, homemaking is not just about whether or not the house is picked up or the everyone has clean underwear (although those things are nice, ) , but how you feel about your family and your home during each season. How does your homemaking reflect the seasons of your soul.
This is the eve before Lent begins in the Western Church. Before you decide to click off this page because you are not Christian or anything else, realize that Lent is a season that anyone can celebrate. It is a journey of the heart and the mind, a time of examination and stillness, a time of renewal of life, of renewal of mind heading into a spring that right now seems so far away. For me, Lent is a time where I deliberately examine my own choices – how I am using my time, am I serving my family, am I taking care of myself? It is a time to find a renewed source of strength.
I would like to walk through these days with you with my favorite friends: some of the Celtic Holy ones. I love the Celtic Saints, or you can just call them your Celtic Holy Companions, because they were so very interesting and inspiring and I do think they represent a point of commonality amongst all Christian denominations and form a bedrock of Western Civilization. In Advent, we often travel through Advent and mark St. Nicholas Day and Santa Lucia Day for cultural reasons, for religious reasons and for personal reasons to find light in the darkest of days. Why not do this in Lent? There are wonderful holy people to be celebrated during Lent to inspire you to renewal.
Here is a brief background, based on my understanding of the early Celtic Church, that might help you understand the Celtic Saints a little better: Continue reading