What did the monks on Skellig Michael do all day (and how did they survive)?

Over a thousand years ago there lived a group of hermit-monks on an island off the coast of Ireland. They were almost entirely cut off from the world and were (voluntarily) stranded on an island that was relatively small and treacherous to live on.

Remarkably the community inhabited the island of Skellig Michael for over six hundred years. The big question that everyone wants to know is this: what did they do there and how did they survive?

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This is why St. Michael was sent to earth

As we examined in our previous post, St. Michael is an archangel, a pure spirit, created by God, sent as a messenger of importance to humanity.

The most obvious question after this statement is, “What important message or task did God give to St. Michael?”

To answer that we must first look at St. Michael’s appearance in sacred scripture.

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Why Irish monks chose such a cold, harsh and distant place for a monastery

Along with a desire to go into the desert and contemplate God, the monks of Ireland held on to the concept of a “green martyrdom.”

The Catholic Church has always taught about the possibility of a “red martyrdom,” where one imitates Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross by dying for the sake of the Gospel. Later on there was the belief that if a person wasn’t called to a red martyrdom, they could participate in the same sacrifice with a “white martyrdom,” where someone might endure ridicule for belief in the Gospel, but not suffer death.

Early on, especially in Ireland, there developed a third martyrdom called, “green martyrdom.” An ancient homily in Ireland, written around the end of the seventh century, gives a perfect summary of this type of martyrdom.

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(Slideshow) Preview of our upcoming comic book on Skellig Michael

As many of you know, we are currently preparing a comic book based on the lives and legends of the monks who lived on Skellig Michael, an isolated island off the coast of Ireland. It has been an amazing process, bringing to life these inspiring men who created the famous bee-hive huts seen in the latest Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi.

“The Last Monks of Skellig Michael,” is an ongoing comic series that explores the radical life and exciting adventures of the ancient monastic community on the famous island. It is aimed at both teen and adult audiences. In creating this comic book a great emphasis was put on crafting an engaging story while matching it with equally stunning visuals.

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Should we save the past or “Kill it if you have to”?

A recurring theme throughout The Last Jedi can be summed up in a line from Kylo Ren. He says to Rey, “Let the past die. Kill it if you have to. That’s the only way to become what you were meant to be.”

For Kylo, this means destroying everything and starting over from scratch. He has no particular attachment to the First Order or the Resistance and believes both could be annihilated to start something new.

This same theme is also connected to the Jedi Order. In Luke Skywalker’s escape from the world, he too comes to the realization that it would be better if he died, thus ending the Jedi and (possibly) bringing peace to the galaxy. Even Yoda appears and helps Luke destroy ancient Jedi texts to sever ties with the past (*Update: Rey is seen at the end of the movie placing the ancient Jedi texts on the Millenium Falcon, preserving them for the future).

Is this good? Should we put this into practice in our own lives?

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The surprising spiritual parallels found in ‘The Last Jedi’

The Last Jedi has proven to be a controversial movie on a number of levels. Among Star Wars fans it is a point of division and departs from particular theories that have been debated over and over again. What’s interesting is how much of the philosophical underpinnings of The Last Jedi resonate with a similar historical event that radically changed the world and departed from theories that were fiercely debated over for centuries.

The movie, whether it was intended or not, offers a striking parallel to what happened over 2,000 years ago in the backwater town of Bethlehem. There, in a quiet manager scene, a little boy was born who would open the floodgates of something new that the world had never seen before.

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The Last Serpent: Part IV

For Part III, click here.

As Patrick, Tassac and his company of priests and deacons began to descend the hill, the group of warriors who had fought against the serpent were walking up and returning to their village.

The leader of the troop stopped Patrick, “Where are you going, miracle-worker? The sun is nearly set and lately we have heard many fowl beasts in the valley below.”

Patrick replied, “I have no doubt that there are many horrible creatures, but we must be on our way to discover where the Magician has led his pet serpent.”

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