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Saying of the Celtic Saints

Throughout the pre-reformation history of the Celtic Christian Church, her servants often demonstrated a profound understanding of many things. In this collection of quotations you'll encounter much holy, reverential, and occasionally practical wisdom.


Our God is the God of all things. ~ St. Patrick


The beginning, the principle, from whom all things are is the Father. ~ St. John Scotus Eriugena (Eoin Erinnacht)

The almighty power of God rules over all things, and in His Name all our movements are directed, Himself being our governor. ~ St. Columba (Columcille)


God is near to all those who call on Him. The kingdom of heaven can be reached from any land. ~ St. Samthann

God possesses perfect reason, so He can see all the consequences of every possible decision. ~ St. Morgan



The beginning, the principle through who all things exist is the Son. ~ St. John Scotus Eriugena (Eoin Erinnacht)

My druid is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. ~ St. Columba (Columcille)


The advantage of being a Christian is that through the teaching of Jesus Christ we learn more fully the nature of goodness; and through His example we are inspired to choose good. ~ St. Morgan


In the teachings and example of Jesus Christ we learn the general principles of behavior which pleases God. ~ St. Morgan


Action practicising virtue perceives, through the virtue of faith and action, the Son of God confined in the flesh in a wonderful and ineffable manner. But the highest contemplation of the truth wonders at the Word of God in itself, before the flesh, in its principle of absolute and infinite origin in the Father. ~ St. John Scotus Eriugena (Eoin Erinnacht)


In the person of Jesus Christ the inner spiritual law is made fully manifest for us. His words explain the spiritual law. His life and death exemplify it. Through Him we are reborn as new men and women, because we can see clearly how we should live. ~ St. Morgan


Upon the cross of suffering Jesus bore every pain on behalf of Adam’s seed. ~ St. Kevin


No one is saved by the death of Christ if he is not born of the Spirit. No one is born of the Spirit if it is not in the death of Christ. ~ St. John Scotus Eriugena (Eoin Erinnacht)


Christ came to redeem women no less than to redeem men. He suffered for the sake of women as much as for the sake of men. ~ St. Canair


The Light of men is our Lord Jesus Christ, Who in His human nature manifested Himself to all rational and intellectual creatures, and revealed the hidden mysteries of His divinity, by which He is equal to the Father. ~ St. John Scotus Eriugena (Eoin Erinnacht)



God has implanted in every person the capacity to attain the very highest level of virtue. ~ St. Morgan


God made man in His own image; and so He intends for each of us to be like Him. ~ St. Morgan


The struggle upon which we are engaged if full of hardships, full of dangers, for it is the struggle of man against himself. ~ St. Patrick


In truth no one is totally evil or totally good; every person at every moment is capable of choosing good or choosing evil. ~ St. Morgan


By granting us the wonderful gift of freedom, God gave us the capacity to do evil as well as to do good. ~ St. Morgan


The freedom to choose makes us like God: if we choose evil, that freedom becomes a curse; if we choose good, it becomes our greatest blessing. ~ St. Morgan


We can be sure that, if we consider every choice carefully, and seek divine guidance, our decisions will please God. ~ St. Morgan


Even our evil intentions can be thwarted by the benign genius of God. ~ St. Morgan



It is important to distinguish that which is good from that which is perfect. ~ St. Morgan


Pious humbug is an invention of the devil. ~ St. Comghall


Let us be careful that no image but that of God take shape in our souls. ~ St. Columbanus


The soul must be submitted to the rule of the mind, the mind to Christ, and thereby the whole being is submitted through Christ to God the Father. ~ St. John Scotus Eriugena (Eoin Erinnacht)


Since perfection is possible for man, it is obligatory. ~ St. Morgan


Be like an anvil in support of every profitable thing. ~ St. Ailbe


Shun wealth, remain close to the heavenly King, and be gentle towards all people. ~ St. Comghall


Perfection is not the denial of pleasure, but the enhancement of it. ~ St. Morgan


The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit consume our sins together, and by theosis convert us, as though we were a holocaust, into their unity. ~ St. John Scotus Eriugena (Eoin Erinnacht)


Do not be deceived by those who seem to seek perfection, yet do not keep the basic commandments of God. ~ St. Morgan


Unless you are loving and generous, seeking perfection is like trying to build a magnificent palace without first putting in strong foundations. ~ St. Morgan


From the deformity of our imperfection after the fall of the first human being, the Holy Trinity brings us up to the perfect human being and trains us for the fullness of Christ's time. ~ St. John Scotus Eriugena (Eoin Erinnacht)



See in each herb and small animal, every bird and beast, and in each man and woman, the eternal Word of God. ~ St. Ninian


Be at peace, and have genuine charity among yourselves. If you follow the example of the holy fathers, God, the comforter of all good, will be your helper. ~ St. Columba (Columcille)


Always preserve divine charity among yourselves. ~ St. Cuthbert


Be joyful, brothers and sisters. Keep your faith and do the little things. ~ St. David


If you persevere unhindered in meditation and prayer to the blessed Trinity, God will be ever with you. ~ St. Ita


It is better to rejoice than to mourn. ~ St. Brendan


The service of the Lord is light, wonderful, and pleasant. ~ St. Comghall


There is none so lovable as the cheerful. ~ St. Dwynwen


Live in mutual harmony with all other servants of Christ. ~ St. Cuthbert


Do not despise those faithful who come to you seeking hospitality. Receive them, put them up, and set them on their way with kindness, treating them as one of yourselves. ~ St. Cuthbert


Three things that please God are true faith in God with a pure heart, a simple life with a greatful spirit, and generosity inspired by charity. ~ St. Ita


Do not ever think yourselves better than the rest of your companions who share the same faith. ~ St. Cuthbert


The greatest wisdom in a man is to refrain from injurying another when he has the power to do so. ~ St. Teilo


Let the tongue have its rein firmly in the heart. ~ St. Columbanus


Keep guard over your tongues. ~ St. Ailbe


The three things that most displease God are a mouth that hates people, a heart harboring resentments, and confidence in wealth. ~ St. Ita


The man to whom little is not enough will not benefit from more. ~ St. Columbanus


Misfortune ever awaits upon wealth. ~ St. Columba (Columcille)


It is not good to contend against God. ~ St. Teilo


Do not be afraid, for we have God as our guide and helper. God will guide as God pleases. ~ St. Brendan


We should live in righteousness and seek devotedly what is eternal. ~ St. Columbanus


He who does good for others will find his own redoubled many-fold. ~ St. Columba (Columcille)


Cultivate and share the fruits of the earth. ~ St. Ailbe



Give your mind to prayer with humility and with great peace. ~ St. Ailbe


Do not practice long, drawn-out devotions, but give yourself to prayer at intervals, as you would to food. ~ St. Comghall


The extent of your prayers should be until tears come. ~ St. Columba (Columcille)


Diligence at prayer and at the sacrifice of the Mass is necessary for piety and meekness ~ St. Ailbe


The Body of Christ and the Blood of Mary's Son (Holy Communion) is a sure protection for the soul and a safe road to heaven. It has a wonderful power, it fosters purity and is the food which destroys all desires. ~ St. Cormac


The Son born of the Virgin, it is He whom you consume at the altar, His body in all its fullness and majesty, in its perfection, as found in blessed holy heaven. ~ St. Echtgus of Ros Cre'.


Do not profane the Sabbath of the Son of God, but conduct your business at the proper time. On Sundays meditate on the Scriptures and read them aloud. ~ St. Ciaran of Clonmacnois


Be very constant in your prayers for the faithful departed, as if each dead person were a personal friend of yours. ~ St. Columba (Columcille)



Anyone without a soul-friend is like a body without a head. ~ St. Brigit


The bond between soul-friends is what is broken by no chances, what no interval of time or space can sever or destroy, and what even death itself cannot part. ~ St. John Cassian


No matter how much you esteem your strength of will, place yourself under the direction of another. ~ St. Comghall



No one would know how to rise to heights of virtue and contemplation if he were not first fed by tokens of sensible things. ~ St. John Scotus Eriugena (Eoin Erinnacht)


First offer them the milk of simpler teaching, as the Apostle recommends, so that gradually, as they grow strong on the food of God’s Word, they are capable of receiving more elaborate instructions and of carrying out the higher commandment of God. ~ St. Aidan


Only where eternity is known may immutable truth be understood. ~ St. John Scotus Eriugena (Eoin Erinnacht)



Who loves the world does not know it. Who looks down on the world understands it. The world is not truthful, but deceitful; it makes itself true and shows itself false. ~ St. Columbanus


Human society is like a spider’s web; and if you pull out one tiny thread of the web, the shape of the entire web changes. Our small minds cannot begin to grasp this complexity. ~ St. Morgan


Consider the transitory world and Judgment Day, and what you must do to avoid the pains of hell and to obtain the rewards of heaven. ~ St. Ciaran of Clonmacnois


If I could live in a tiny dwelling on a rock in the ocean, surrounded by swelling waves, cut off from the knowledge and sight of all, I would still not be free from the cares of this fleeting world nor from the fear that somehow the love of money would come and snatch me away. ~ St. Cuthbert


We must admit that civilization depends on men of ambition, whose enthusiasm and energy create prosperity and security for everyone. Yet how few people are enthusiastic about holiness, and are ambitous to become saints. ~ St. Morgan


He who tramples on the world tramples on himself. ~ St. Columba


Every visible or invisible creature is a theophany or appearance of God. ~ St. John Scotus Eriugena (Eoin Erinnacht)


The fruit of all study is to percive the eternal word of God reflected in every plant and insect, every bird and animal, and every man and woman. ~ St. Ninian


Understand the creation if you would wish to know the Creator. For those who wish to know the great deep must first review the natural world. ~ St. Columbanus


We ought not to understand God and the creatures as two things distinct from one another, but as one and the same. For both the creature, by subsisting, is in God; and God, by manifesting Himself in a marvellous and ineffable manner, creates Himself in creatures. ~ St. John Scotus Eriugena (Eoin Erinnacht)


If the world is to become truly civilized we need far more people with holiness as their aim. ~ St. Morgan



Terrible is the way of dying. For I do not know what commandment of God I may have transgressed. And even David, son of Jesse, and Paul the Apostle dreaded this day. ~ St. Ciaran of Clonmacnois


The wise man meditates on the end of his life. ~ St. Columba

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