With the release of latest Star Wars films, the ancient monastery atop Skellig Michael has enchanted the world with its beautiful vistas and mysterious history. While much has been written about the architectural feats achieved by the monks on the lonely island, little has been discussed about the daily life of the religious hermits.
What was it like 1,000 years ago?
Why did the monks choose Skellig Michael?
What was their spirituality like? Why did they leave and never return?
Recently I set out to produce a short book to answer these questions and more. The result is a book that describes the life of these ancient monks in an accessible way that appeals to anyone, whether you are a Star Wars fan or not.
In the process, what I discovered is how closely these monks resemble the Jedi who have brought the island to life again in the Star Wars universe.
In addition to writing a book about these ancient monks, I wanted to bring them to life in a visual manner. So I decided to commission several original sketches that depict what the monks would have looked like on Skellig Michael.
The result is truly inspiring and I believe helps visualize these spiritual giants of ages past.
I also commissioned an original logo that connects the monks to the Star Wars universe (partly inspired by the Last Jedi logo) and contains great symbolism. The words are surrounded by the famous “Celtic knot,” a symbol of eternal life. Going down the middle of the knot is a Celtic sword, symbolizing the Irish monk’s desire to be “soldiers of Christ,” who “put on the armor of God” to defeat the dark forces in this world. It is topped by the symbol if the Trinity, reminding us that it is by God’s power that Satan is defeated. The sword also reminds us of the sword of Saint Michael the Archangel, for whom the island is named after and upon which there is a ancient church dedicated in his honor.
The logo offers a pictorial summary of my book and I hope will inspire others.
So in honor of #StarWarsDay I present to you my short book, The Last Monks of Skellig Michael. Many have already read the book and have posted their powerful reviews on Amazon. Please check them out and consider adding my book to your library.
May the Lord be with you!