'Numismatic Relics of the Irish Mission on the Continent ca. 560 – 1000' by Alexey Shitvov (NSI-NB)

The Christian church in the 6th century Britain and Continental Europe was rather in a poor state. With the fall of the Roman Empire and loss of connection with the central ecclesiastical government, the raising Anglo-Saxon and Merovingian states had mostly turned to polytheistic paganism, whereas in Northern Italy and elsewhere in Europe the Christian doctrine was contaminated by pervasive fallacies rooted in the old Roman Christian doctrines. This was the time when Irish monks set out on a mission to reignite the light of the true Christian faith in Britain and Europe. They travelled far across the Content bringing literacy and knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, and showing exemplary devotion to the faith by establishing monasteries, learning centres and hermitages in the remote parts of Europe. Their mission was not an easy sail, and alongside converting pagans to the Christian faith they had to struggle to preserve their monastic identity within the emerging administrative structure of the Roman Catholic Church. The deeds of the Celtic monks went not in vain and as the centuries passed their names remains beacons of spiritual heritage all across the Europe. In this talk, Alexey Shitvov revisits the history of the Irish mission in the Continental Europe with examples of medieval and post-medieval coins commemorating the work of early Irish Saints. Read the full story here..

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