Was peregrinatio primarily a penitential act? Was the fact of leavings one’s homeland more important to the peregrinus than the prospect of going to work in a new land?
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me;and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me.Those who find their life will lose it and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.
Matthew 10 v37
At the baptism of a friend of mine’s child (who happens to be an Anglican priest), we got to talking about Celtic spirituality. His opinion was fascinating as his principle objection to all things Celtic and Christian was the issue of and I summarise; ‘their penitential practices, self mortification and flagellation’s confined their form of monasticism to the dark ages and was certainly not as enlightened as the Benedictine’s or Franciscans’.
There can be no doubt that the daily monastic practice and disciplines of the Celtic Church and its heroes are shrouded in the mists of time and its continuous re-interpretation. The result being it will always be difficult to get close to their motivations for what are perceived as their more extreme behaviours. To our eyes some of these behaviours will seem strange and often inaccessible leading us to create a level of stereo type, whether it be the romantic notion of the wandering monk at peace with the animals or the punishments of harsh penitential codes and rigorous spiritual disciplines imposed upon the Celtic monks. Yet it is clear these were men and women of their own time, language and culture that resulted in a very unique set spiritual practices, which they no doubt will have viewed as being ‘expected of a serious disciple of Christ’.
One of these practices ‘peregrinatio’ is perhaps the most flamboyant and idiosyncratic practice associated with the Celtic Church. In this essay I will attempt to examine the idea of whether peregrinatio was primarily a penitential act and whether the act of leaving ones homeland was more important than working in a foreign land. I aim to do this through a cursory exploration of the lives of three Celtic saints; Columbanus, Columba and Samson who were all know known to be ‘wanderers for Christ’. During my exploration the questions that continually emerged were, ‘Did they see themselves as missioners of the gospel message and therefore travel voluntarily?’ ‘How much of their peregrinatio was motivated by intentionally ‘doing penance’?’ and ‘was their penitential practices and disciplines something they carried with them as they traveled?’
As my Anglican priest friend rightly observed, the early Celtic church had a strong penitential spirituality and codes of practice. As strange as these practices now appear to us, there can be no doubt that penitential spirituality formed a vital part of practice of the early British and Irish churches. In Wandering Monks, Virgins and Pilgrims, Maribel Dietz makes a good observation about the unique ecclesiastical culture that developed in western parts of Britain and Ireland.
In Ireland we find evidence of diverse forms of ascetic and monastic practices, including wandering monasticism in the sixth and seventh centuries. Irish monastic travel however had an emphasis on missionary activity and penitential pilgrimage, distinguishing it from Mediterranean practices.
So to dismiss peregrinatio and associated ascetic practices primitive, as my Anglican friend did would appear to be premature.
The Cultural Ingredients
The unique monastic practices of the British and Irish in the 5th to 7th centuries were formed by a number of key ingredients and as well as one vital missing ingredient.
This is an important point that informs the backdrop of our discussion about peregrinatio. In pre Christian Britain, the indigenous people viewed story and especially voyage stories as important elements in their cultural identity. Their view of the afterlife was rooted in travel to an ‘otherworld beyond the sea’. Although there is not time to explore this in detail in this essay, I sense that living on the very edge of the known world will have shaped the consciousness of the British Isles with a sense of trepidation, mystery and desire for exploration. Perhaps the finest illustration of this point, are the epic poems The Voyage of Bran and its Christian cousin The Voyage of St Brendan. These epics are layered with the vast expanse of the ocean’s call to hero warrior and peregrinating monk and their desire to discover meaning in relation to God and the after life. The journey itself was the essence for the divine encounter.
Another important active ingredient in the life of Irish monasticism was the influence of ‘desert spirituality’ that had developed in the 3rd and 4th centuries in Egypt and Syria. This movement of aesthetics and travellers had been well documented by early pilgrims such as John Cassian, more settled monks like Jerome and Athanasius who spent many years in exile as he battled Arianism. Athanasius biography of St Anthony became a seminal work that inspired people to leave the cities and the secular vocations and dedicate their lives to Christ through monastic calling with highly geared ascetic and penitential practices being at the core of the monks life.
Celtic Penitential Discipline.
Flowing from this eastern foundation, the Celtic penitential’s became a vital manifestation of the uniqueness of Celtic spirituality. John Thomas McNiell writes
The origins of the Penitential System must be sought in the simple customs of the primitive church; but in course of evolution it was profoundly modified by the practice of a branch of the church, which developed its characteristics in almost complete isolation from continental influences. This was the Celtic church of Ireland and Wales.
These penitential’s acted in regulating moral behaviour and lapses within the clergy through what in modern day terms would be referred to as ‘restorative justice’. The Penitential of Finnian lays out detailed penances that are designed to address an equal and opposite remedy to the crime committed as outlined in note 29,
Patience must arise from wrathfulness; kindliness, or the love of God and of ones neighbour for envy; for detraction, restraint of the heart and tongue; for dejection, spiritual joy; for greed, liberality
They were tempered in severity dependent upon your status in society, so that a monks penance would be more severe than a layman’s penance for the same transgression. Also given the social and political background of The British Isles post Roman occupation and the continual insecurities created by inter tribal feuds and invading armies, the strict disciplines and codes of practice offered a framework of consistency for both clergy and laity alike that may well have served as societal glue. This point would certainly seem to be born out in the life of Columbanus who acted as a confessor, mentor and judge to many Frankish noblemen who beat a path to his door seeking absolution for their turpitude.
Our Celtic monks would carry their penitential books with them as they traveled. These books were dynamic in nature, being constantly refined and revised by different Abbots so as to maintain continuity of spiritual practice, yet they also seemed to take on elements of the founders personalities so as to keep them unique and fresh.
The Withdrawal of Roman Influence.
The missing ingredient is the fact that the Roman occupiers and their cultural expression of Christianity did not extend their organisational structures across the whole of the British islands. Dietz makes this point well,
Ireland had never been conquered by the Romans; it had not undergone the process of Romanisation that the rest of Europe and the Mediterranean had, and did not have the infrastructure necessary to support the fully episcopal form of Christianity that was so prevalent in Roman Britain, Spain and Gaul.
This allowed the native tribal structures of western Britain and Ireland to remain as the key cultural force through which Christianity manifested itself. The withdrawal of the Roman occupying armies and administrators from the British Isles created a vacuum into which rushed a number of forces, one being the missional activities of the Celtic Church.
Although much focus is given to the evangelisation of The British Islands as being down to its occupation by Rome, as we discover in the story of Patrick whose peregrinatio to Ireland from mainland Britain clearly encountered those that had already embraced the message of Jesus. Thomas O’Loughlin highlights
It is certain he (Patrick) was in Ireland preaching the gospel, and from his writings we are told that he went not to believers but pagans, and indeed he went where no Christian had hitherto gone.
In regards to Patrick, it seems clear that the cause of his peregrination back to Ireland was an act of obedience to a dream and for the love of Christ alone. A similar experience we shall discover in both Columbanus and Sampson.
Irish Civil Cultural Expectations
The Irish civil codes used exile for crimes as a standard punishment, as we shall discover later in the poem The Voyage of Snédgus and Mac Riagla as well as the life of Columba. I believe it is a fair assumption that the practice of ‘exile as punishment’ in both pre Christian and post Christian Britain and Ireland demonstrates how endemically embedded into the psyche of the cultural the notion forced exile was.
In T.M. Charles Edwards essay entitled The Penitential of Columbanus he makes an interesting and subtle point between the view of Columbanus and his subsequent followers in regards to the key question of whether peregrinatio was primarily a penitential act.
It seems that the penitential regime was central to Columbanian monasticism in the generation after his death, whereas in his own writings such themes as the perception of human life as a peregrinatio alienated from a heavenly patria were more prominent.
Columbanus is in every way the archetypal wandering Celtic saint. Born in the modern day province of Leinster around 540AD, very little is known of his early years apart from the mentions by his hagiographer Jonas that he was brought up by his mother. His motivation for becoming a monk are attributed to a recognition of his sexual weaknesses and his fear he would be ‘ensnared by the lusts of the world’ It appears he was at a cross roads as a young man and a chance encounter with an anchoress was pivotal in his decision to leave his home and strike out to become a monk.
The encounter between Columbanus and the anchoress is an interesting snap shot into the spiritual and religious expectations of those who took the vocation of ‘following Christ’ seriously. The anchoress had been living in isolation, far from her home, avoiding all secular activity for 12 years as Jonas records. She viewed this as an act of obedience to the commands of Christ in ‘putting my hand to the plow, I have not turned backward’. She is clearly appalled that Columbanus ‘glowing with the fire of youth’ is compromising his divine calling by staying at home, flirting with the opposite sex as though this would be compatible with his higher vocation. After chastising him, she encourages him to do the one thing that she as a woman was unable to do (due to a weakness), and to go into exile for Christ and find a home among strangers in a foreign land for the sake of Christ.
In this encounter there is a basic acceptance that to travel as a stranger for Christ is an expected norm. In no way is this expectation questioned, rather it seems to be validated as normal. Yet equally it is not explicit in the dialogue that the choice that is now before Columbanus and the exhortation to ‘go’ is a punishment or penance for his flirting and dalliance with girls. Carol Richards in her book Columbanus, Poet, Preacher, Statesman Saint, infers in this encounter that some sexual sin or an arranged marriage may have occurred that catapulted Columbanus into his pursuit of becoming a monk, However I am not attracted to this argument as there does not seem to be any clear evidence in Jonas work that Columbanus had transgressed the boundaries of fidelity or in any of the subsequent traditions or narratives that developed around the cult of Columbanus.
Columbanus goes on to serve his apprenticeship under a number of Abbots coming to rest in Bangor under the leadership of Comgall. It is here that he finally fulfills the calling to leave his native land and in a spirit of obedience that Jonas equates to the ‘command which the Lord gave to Abraham’ he is reluctantly allowed to leave and begin his peregrinatio to Brittany and Frankish Gaul. As with his encounter with the anchoress, the desire and veracity to go is not questioned, rather as Donald Bullough highlights, Comgall’s initial reluctance to allow Columbanus permission is overcome due to ‘the benefit which Columbanus voluntary exile would brings to others.’
It would seem that the compulsion to go into exile for Christ for Columbanus was rooted in firstly a primary sense of vocational calling expressed in a leaving of his home, an insular peregrinatio within Ireland as he served his monastic apprenticeship and the culmination of this calling to go ‘into exile’ as an act of obedience. This permanent journey seems rooted in his clear sense of obedience to his calling to spread the message of the gospel. Throughout his colourful life Columbanus stayed true to his core conviction always seeming to seek out land and territory that was a frontier for the gospel. Edwards seems to have a good point when he asserts that Columbanus saw his life’s peregrinatio as a journey towards his heavenly family from whom he felt estranged.
Columba and The Columban Tradition.
Columba or Columcille remains one of the most enigmatic figures in the history of the Church in the British Isles. His legacy is still alive today in locations such as Lindisfarne and his own Iona. He was reportedly a towering figure of a man with a booming voice, strong stature, tempered with a tender and compassionate touch. Perhaps a sanctified Brian Blessed is the closest we could get to a modern day image of the man Columba. Columba like his contemporary Columbanus was also an exile for Christ, but for perhaps different reasons.
Columba’s background was noble, being the son of a chief of the O’Niall clan. He was born into a Christian family and at his baptism he was given the name Columb (Dove) and Cille (cell or church).
Although by comparison Columba’s peregrinatio was not as expansive or extensive as Columbanus’s it could not be interpreted as less significant. Many would describe Columba’s peregrinatio as ‘insular’ meaning located within the boundaries of ones own land or country. Yet there does appear to be a divergence of reason and perception that can be deduced as the two men embarked on their respective journeys.
An exploration of Columba’s reason for leaving Ireland has a pertinent impact upon the question being explored in this essay. It is clear that Columba’s first love and deep affection was for his homeland. The following extracts from two poems concerning Columba demonstrate the pain, the emotion and the spiritual torment that Columba lived with was a very real source of lament for him.
There is a grey eye
That looks back to Erin;
It shall not see during life
The men of Erin, not their wives
My vision o’er the brine I stretch
From the ample oaken planks;
Large is the tear of my soft grey eye,
When I look back on Erin. 
These turbulent emotions felt by Columba at his leaving are even more profoundly expressed in the poem ‘Columcille fecit’ were his distress is elevated in his personae to a mystical identity;
That my mystical name might be, I say.
That contrition might come upon my heart
Upon looking at her;
That I might bewail my evils all,
Though it were difficult to compute them.
The lament of Columba concerning his exile from Ireland is clear to see, so what were the reasons for this enforced peregrinatio?
One reasons given is a dispute over a copied manuscript. During a time of study at Clonard, Columba made a copy of a Psalter without the permission of the Abbot Finnian. Finnian demanded that the then copied manuscript be returned, Columba refused, precipitating an appeal to the High King Diarmait who ruled in favour of Finnian. Columba was so outraged by the decision that he swore to be avenged. As events developed Columba, was imprisoned by Diarmait, subsequently escaped and returned to his home clan. In defense of his honour and at the seeming instigation of Columba, a battle between all the men of Ulster and Diarmait occur, in which Diarmait is defeated, but not without considerable lose of life to both sides. Columba as a result of this visits his soul friend and confessor Laisren who lays a penance on him for the lose of life that he should leave Ireland, go into exile and there win as many souls for Christ as were lost in the battle of Cooldrevny, namely 3000.
However when it comes to the examination of Columba’s purpose for going into exile not everyone agrees. Beccan mac Luigdech a bard and poet who stands in the Columban tradition wrote in a praise poem entitled ‘Fo reir Choluimb’
He crucified – not for crimes-
His body on the grey waves.
The poet seemingly dismisses the idea that the reasons for Columba’s exile were in anyway related to possible crimes committed. He is keen to ensure that in his poem the aesthetic virtues of Columba’s peregrinatio are elevated in the story of his leaving Ireland. What the story of Columba demonstrates is that the life of Columba was clearly complicated by his involvement with the political intrigues and deeply embedded in the power struggles of his day. Columba was first a foremost a monk, for which he seemingly paid a high price when things went wrong. His acceptance (as I believe) of enforced peregrinatio as a punishment for his role in the events above seem to imply considerable overlap in the understanding of the day between the affairs of the religious and the affairs of the secular. Columba seemed to be guilty of a religious infraction that went to a secular authority for judgement that concluded in warfare and an enforced spiritually motivated exile. The gap between state and religion was not a clearly defined one in 6th century Ireland. It would seem that for Columba the act of peregrinatio was indeed an act of intentional penance.
The Columban Tradition.
Whether peregrinatio was an act of aesthetic spiritual practice or a form of punishment for crimes committed, we can deduce that exile for Christ in the mind of Columba’s followers was an important aspect of their spirituality as we can also see in the following poem that sits within the Columban tradition.
In the Voyage of Snédgus and Mac Riagla, two priests of Columba’s order set out on a peregrinatio into the ocean for the love of God.
Snédgus and Mac Riagla of the familia of Columcille – such was their virtue: they loved the king of Heavens Kingdom.
They entered on to the angry sea (which requires a total effort) at the beginning of the reign of Donnchad after the ruin of Domnall.
The ocean in this tale, as in many of the voyage tales seems to act as a foil for the virtues of the holy men. It is cast as an angry canvas of purgatory and darkness through which the virtues and holy practices of the saints can be tested and through trials and battles on the sea they overcome the many obstacles to the glory of God. Clancy makes this point succinctly, ‘the sea as a purgative force, a place of repentance’.
As the priests journey they encounter many wonderful islands full exotic creatures and people. One such notable encounter is with a group of warriors who were found guilty of slaying the High King of Tara’s son. For their crime they were banished into perpetual exile,
Here is the pair by whom he fell – stronger than a host – [it was] a victory rich in casts: Diarmait rich in oil, and Ailill
They were banished upon the sea for that deed (without any delay) sixty couples of no ferocity.
‘It is true for you, O clerics of the Lord – a penalty which is attested – it is true testimony; it is I who killed the son of the King of Tara’
We left our country forever – long journey of a band of guests – for us it is profitable until we go forth to judgement.(italics mine)
What is so telling in this poem is that it enshrines two of the principle forms of peregrinatio, namely voluntary exile for the love of Christ as in the case of the holy men, or the enforced exile as a punishment for crimes committed. Notably in this story, whether viewed through the eyes of the holy men or the exiled warriors, both sets of travellers view their exile as profitable for their eternal soul in the face of the final judgement.
The story of Sampson is again a telling one in regards to the issue at hand. Sampson was a Welsh saint whose birth is recorded as divinely dreamt and miraculous, given that his mother was considered to be barren. As an act of thanks to God for this miraculous birth, Sampson is given to be educated in Llaniltud Fawr, the famous monastery of Illtud. As he grows into a man, so he grows in virtue and devotion to God. Illtud, before his death, is said to have prophesied over the baby Sampson that he is,
deigned to give light on the earth by the lamp proceeding from our race, unworthy though we may be. Behold the noble chief of us all, behold him who is to be a high priest, to the profit of many on this side and beyond the sea
Illtud’s words carry the deposit of Sampson future peregrinatio to Brittany and Gaul.
Throughout Sampson’s life his biographer is keen to continually stress Sampson’s ascetic virtue, such as long vigils, seeking out caves to dwell in, extensive periods of fasting, studying scripture throughout the night by candle light and sleeping standing up. These spiritual disciplines are very reminiscent of the desert fathers, that would seem to confirm an earlier point regarding the influences that shaped Celtic spirituality being that of the near eastern Syrian and Egyptian practice.
One moment in Sampson’s life is worth touching on, regarding Sampson’s view of his home life. While Sampson was living in the monastery on Caldey Island he received news that his father was sick and was close to death. The messengers are instructed to inform Sampson of his fathers’ illness and to summon him to his bedside before he should die. Sampson reply to this request is an interesting camio of how Sampson viewed his old family life.
Go back to our house, for, unless I am mistaken, I have already left Egypt; to be sure my way is not in that direction; of a truth God is powerful to heal a sick man.
A curt way of saying, I will not return to my old life or my old family connections, my journey is in another direction. Sampson is reported to have started, that very instance, to walk away from the messengers and in an opposite direction to where his family home would have been. This impetuous gesture is a clear indication of his desire to put more distance between his future and his past. It was the wise intervention of Abbot Piro that persuaded Sampson to return home, see his family and to heal his father of his illness. For Sampson it would appear that leaving his home life was a very significant part of his identity and the thought of having to return to it produced a very uncharacteristic short tempered and uncharitable response to a request for an act of familial kindness.
Sampson’s proclivity to ascetic practice, equally informs his peregrinatio. In his desire for more extensive periods of solitude and devotion to prayer and fasting, Sampson embarks upon a series of insular peregrination’s to Caldey Island and then later to Ireland for further education. But it is his return to Llaniltud Fawr that sees him receive his divine calling to travel beyond the shores of Britain. An angel visits him during an all night vigil and informs him,
I have been sent to thee by my Lord; of a truth thou oughtest to tarry no longer in this country, for thou art ordained to be a pilgrim, and beyond the sea thou wilt be very great in the church and worthy of the highest priestly dignity.
From here Sampson travels across Cornwall, onto the Channel Islands and eventually to Brittany where he establishes a monastic settlement in Dol. During these final episodes in Sampson life we see him engage, similar to Columba and Columbanus in the regional politics of his time. He visits The Frankish King Childebert as well as taking part in a number of ecclesiastical events most notably the signing of the Acts of the Council of Paris in 557.
Sampson in many ways epitomises the Celtic saint. Two of the principle characteristics of Celtic spirituality namely, ascetic discipline and peregrinatio, consistently manifested themselves in his life. It would seem however on balance that Sampson’s devotion to ascetic practice was his primary expression of love and devotion to God, with peregrinatio playing a co-starring role as he sought to perfect his spiritual life. Indeed his biographer refers to Sampson as a ‘veteran traveller’ but his travel always seemed to be informed by his deeply penitential and ascetic spirituality.
When I started this essay, I have to confess I came at this question with a fairly fixed position. The answer in my mind was a clear no. I viewed the wanderlust of the Celtic saints as being rooted in their desire for mission and love of God. The idea that peregrinatio could be viewed by the traveller as an act of penitence was outside my framework of reference. In many ways, I was like my Anglican friend was locked into a worldview that no longer considered penitence as a contemporary practice of any value. However my view has changed. Having examined in more depth the lives of the three saints in this essay I was surprised to discover that the views and motivations for peregrinatio are as unique and individualistic as the personalities themselves. Yet there can be little doubt that peregrinatio as an act of internal personal penitence did occur and was a key feature of Celtic spirituality.
The internal rationale that Columbanus, Columba and Sampson held for their journeys as we have reviewed in this essay seem to cover three distinct yet interconnected reasons.
Columbanus urge to journey seemed to be primarily mission, even though his biographer does highlight the drama of his leaping over his distraught mother in the doorway of his childhood home, as though to make the point that his leaving home was a spiritual rite of passage. Yet Columbanus stresses that his voluntary exile was to take the message of Christ to the heathens in mainland Europe and the early locations for his monastic foundations would seem to support this idea.
Columba by contrast, although primarily fulfilling the role of an insular wandering monk who established monastic foundations throughout Ireland, did not present any early inclination of a desire to travel across the sea, being referred to as an ‘Island soldier of Christ’ It would appear that his peregrination was an enforced penance consistent with his involvement in the deaths of those at the battle of Cooldrevny. Indeed, in the supporting wealth of literature about Columba, there is a constant dialogue surrounding the reasons why he left Ireland, with an element being the consequences of his involvement in the political intrigues that led to the deaths of 3000 Irishmen.
Sampson’s peregrinations again reflect another strand of reason and inclination to travel. Throughout Sampson’s biography his virtues as an ascetic are stressed and mirror many of the practices of the Egyptian desert fathers. This veteran traveller appears focused primarily on his spiritual disciplines and his early insular peregrinations are motivated by his desire for more conducive environments where he can pursue his penitential spirituality. It is only through the prophetic interventions of an angel that Sampson makes his major journey across the English Channel to Brittany and establishes his monastic house in Dol.
So although the personal reasons for the peregrinations of our subjects may vary, what emerges are a number of constants that bind their practices together. The most telling of these is the highly stylised and penitential nature of their Christianity. All three men were ascetics, following strict rules that governed the behaviour of themselves and their followers. Given this high level of ascetic virtue coupled with the backdrop of voluntary exile as a form of spiritual penance and enforced exile as a punishment for crimes committed, peregrinatio could be viewed as ‘a penitential act’ in and of itself. Certainly in the case of Columba I would argue that his peregrination was principally an act of penance. For Columbanus he would see life as one great act of peregrination towards his heavenly home.
However I cannot say with any degree of certainty that life long exile was viewed in this light in every Celtic wanderer. What I have settled upon is that the physical act of peregrinatio as a foundational expression of Celtic Christian spirituality cannot be captured or labelled within one distinct and homogenous narrative. It would seem that one of the very strengths of peregrinatio is its diversity of reason and fluidity of motivation. The wandering monks of the Celtic Church retain their mystery as they journey through the pages of history and our imaginations.
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Books and Source Texts.
Adamnan, The Life of Saint Columba. translated by Huyshe W. (1905) London: George Routledge & Sons
Chadwick, N. (1963). Celtic Britian. London: Thames and Hudson
Clancy, T.O. and Markus, G. (ed.). (1995) Iona The Earliest Poetry of a Celtic Monastery. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
Davies, O. (1996) Celtic Christianity in Early Medieval Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press
Dietz, M. (2005) Wandering Monks, Virgins and Pilgrims. Ascetic travel in the Mediterranean World AD 300-800. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press
‘The Poetic Version of the Voyage of Snédgus and Mac Ríagla’, in A. Ahlqvist and V. Capková, eds, Dán do Oide: Essays in memory of Conn R. Ó Cléirigh. (Dublin 1997) accessed via The Celtic Christian e-Library, Lampeter University.
Jonas. The Life of St. Columban. Medieval Online Sourcebook (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/columban.html)
Jones, K. (2002) Who are the Celtic Saints? Norwich: Canterbury Press
Lapidge, M (ed.). (1997) Columbanus Studies on the Latin Writings. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press.
Sharp, E.A. and Matthay, J. (ed). (1932) Lyra Celtica. An Anthology of the Poetry of the Celt. Edinburgh: John Grant
St Finnian of Clonard, The Penitential of Finnia, in McNiel J.T. and Gamer H. (1938) Medieval Handbooks of Penance. New York: Columbia University Press
McNiell, J T. (1923) The Celtic Penitential’s and their Influence on Continental Christianity. Paris: BiblioLife, LLC
O’Loughlin, T. (1999) Saint Patrick The Man and his Works. London: Triangle SPCK
Rees, E. (2000) Celtic Saints, Passionate Wanderers. New York: Thames & Hudson
Richards, C. (2010) Columbanus. Poet, Preacher, Statesman, Saint. Exeter: Imprint Academic
Taylor, T (trans.). (1925) Vita Samsonis (The Life of St Sampson of Dol). Accessed via Celtic Christian e-Library, Lampeter University
Wooding, J (ed). (2000) The Otherworld Voyage in Early Irish Literature: An Anthology of Criticism. Dublin: Four Courts Press
 Dietz, M. Wandering Monks, Virgins, and Pilgrims, 26
 J Carey, ‘The Location of the Otherworld in Irish Tradition’, in, J Wooding (ed.), The Otherworld Voyage in Early Irish Literature, 115
 McNiell, J T. The Celtic Penitentials and their influence on Continental Christianity, 1
 St Finnian of Clonard, ‘The Penitential of Finnia, in, J T McNiel and H Gamers (ed.), Medieval Handbooks of Penance, (http://wadsworth.com/history_d/special_features/ilrn_legacy/wawc1c01c/content/wciv1/readings/finnian.html)
 Dietz, M. Wandering Monks, Virgins and Pilgrims, 26
 T. O’Loughlin, Saint Patrick the Man and his Works, 16
 T.M. Charles Edwards, ‘The Penitential of Columbanus’, in, M. Lapidge (ed.), Columbanus: Studies on the Latin Writings, 219
 Jonas, The Life of St. Columban, in, Medieval Online Sourcebook, chapter 7 (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/columban.html)
 ibid. chapter 8
 ibid. chapter 8
 Richards, C. Columbanus Poet Preacher Statesman Saint. 17
 Jonas, The Life of St. Columban, in, Medieval Online Sourcebook, chapter 9 (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/columban.html)
 Bullough, D. ‘The Career of Columbanus’, in, M. Lapidge (ed.). Columbanus, Studies on the Latin Writings. 8
 Adamnan. Life of Saint Columba. Translation and Introduction by W Huyshe. 23
 Back turned to Ireland
 Lyra Celtica. 20
 Beccán mac Luigdech. ‘Fo Réir Choluimb’, in, T O Clancy and G Markus, (ed.). Iona The Earliest Poetry of a Celtic Monastery. 137
 Immram Snédgusa ocus Maic Ríagla (the Voyage of Snédgus and Mac Ríagla), from, The Poetic Version of the Snédgus and Maic Ríagla, in A.Ahlqvist and V.Capková, eds, Dán do Oide: Essays in memory of Conn R. Ó Cléirigh
 Clancy T O. Subversion at Sea: Structure, Style and Intent in the Immrama, in, J Wooding, (ed.). The Otherworld Voyage in early Irish Literature. 194
 Immram Snédgusa ocus Maic Ríagla (the Voyage of Snédgus and Mac Ríagla), from, The Poetic Version of the Snédgus and Maic Ríagla, in A.Ahlqvist and V.Capková, eds, Dán do Oide: Essays in memory of Conn R. Ó Cléirigh
 Vita Samsonis (Life of St Sampson of Dol). Edition by Fawtier 1912. Translator T Taylor. Accessed through the Celtic Christianity e-library, Lampeter University. Book 1, Chapter 6.
 Ibid. Book 1, Chapter 24.
 Ibid. Book 1, Chapter 45
 Adamnan. Life of Saint Columba. Translation and Introduction by W Huyshe.