A great read for Saint Patrick’s Day.

Thomas Cahill’s, “How The Irish Saved Civilization” (1995) 

When I picked up this little book a few years ago, I had no idea what I was in for. I only picked it up to give it a glance because I had previously read Thomas Cahill and found him to be an exciting writer who had a very unique style with historic themes. He always does his homework and makes historic events and themes come alive much like a historic novel. I have sinse read my third Cahill book, “Pope John XXIII“, which I also highly recommend.

The title also captured my interest. It is rather a bold claim, isn’t it. How could such a small country and their people have been responsible for saving civilization?  Well, that’s what Cahill set out to find out- the untold story of Ireland’s role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe. Fascinating stuff.

Of course Cahill is talking about only one part of the world’s civilization- western civilization. Actually this is part of a series Cahill calls, “The Hinges of History” in which he means to retell the story of the Western world, “as the story of the great gift-givers, those who entrusted to our keeping one or another of the singular treasures that make up the patrimony of the West”.

This is exactly the kind of focus we love here at E4Unity blog. I call these heroes, brave-hearts, and like to pay tribute to a few representative examples as often as I can- those living as well as those in past generations. I’ll let Cahill’s words describe them-

” We normally think of history as one catastrophe after another, war followed by war, outrage by outrage- almost as if history were nothing more than all the narratives of human pain, assembled in sequence. And surely this is, often enough, an adequate description. But history is also the narratives of grace, the recountings of those blessed and inexplicable moments when someone did something for someone else, saved a life, bestowed a gift, gave something beyond what was required.”

Thank God for the Apostle to the Irish and may God bless the Irish heritage. Have a great Saint Patrick’s Day, whether you’re Irish or not.

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