Tag Archives: St. Columcille

Archaeology and Historical Novels

photo by Tim Regan

Exciting New Discoveries!

Those of us who read historical novels like there to be some accuracy in them. The story needs to be true to its setting. Since I having been writing stories set in ancient Ireland, in the 5th and 6th centuries, much of what I write about is based, necessarily, on legends. The setting is the best I can make it with what is known, thanks in great part to archaeological discoveries. And as technology gets better, more is proven and discovered, which I think is really exciting.

The Discovery of St. Columcille’s Cell on Iona

photo by Tim Regan

When I read this, I was really excited because I’m currently writing about St. Columcille! The end of the story will put him in this cell, that was discovered about sixty years ago but only recently dated to his lifetime. Where I’m at now in writing the novel, he’s not on Iona yet, but I’m following the stories of his life and will get there. Proving that a figure from so long ago actually was in the place where historical accounts put him, and that the whole story is not a fantasy, is really incredible if you think about it.

Read the article from the BBC by clicking here.

The Truth of Old Celtic Stories…

…are often not the point of telling them.

The Storyteller
photo by Hans Splinter

The spiritual significance of these historical figures lies in what we can apply to our lives and how we might carry on the legacy of faith. That’s why I write my novels. But sometimes I do get critics who insist these people never really lived, never really carried on the way the legends say they did, never could have accomplished the feats that made them into saints.

But I say, not so fast. To believe that is to deprive ourselves of the privilege, and the responsibility, of striving to do the same. If we don’t live lives worthy of having tall tales told about us one day, we’ve failed to carry the torch and give our lives real meaning. So I say be inspired by the tales of old, and realize that you too can make a difference.

 

The Irish Saint in my Novel

via flikr

The One I’m Currently Writing Anyway

Today, June 9, is the Feast of St. Columba. In Irish his name is Columcille, meaning “Dove of the Church.”

His mother was like Hannah of the Bible in that she prayed desperately for a child. When he was born, she fostered him to the church much like Hannah did for her son Samuel. There was probably an intent by the monks who wrote the story down to make that comparison, but it fascinates me true or not. And that’s all it takes sometimes to get my novelist mind turning.

Read More

If you’d like to know more about Saint Columcille, I’ve written a blog post that links to a previous one. Go here.

Let me know what you think!