Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Saint Patrick and the Coptic Church

YOU MAY NOT KNOW it, but there appears to be a historical link between St. Patrick and the Coptic Church.

The website The Ultimate St. Patrick cites some sources which indicate that before St. Patrick went to Ireland, he met a group of Coptic monks on the Island of Lerins in the Mediterranean Sea, near Gaul, where the monks had established a community. The site references a book by David Marshall, Ph.D. of the University of Hull, England, which discusses the strong connection between the St. Patrick and the Coptic monks in Lerins. It also cites Liturgics by Fr. Dmitri Ross in which the author discusses how monastisicism came to the Celtic Church from the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria.

An article entitled On the Trail of the Seven Coptic Monks in Ireland - His Grace Metropolitan Seraphim on the British Orthodox Church's site also weighs evidence for the link between the the Coptic Church and the Celtic Church.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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