Saint Gall: An Irish Treasure on the Continent

Cornel Dora, the Director of the St Gallen Library, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, tells the story of the Irish monks Gallen, Columbanus and others who reinvigorated European Christianity with their wisdom teaching based around the radical idea of the Trinity – God at once patriarchal, embodied and spiritual.

This is illustrated through extracts from original manuscripts (brought from Ireland and produced in St Gallen between the 7th and 10th Centuries). This includes “the 12 abuses of the world” a critic of contemporary failings and a guide to right living. He goes on to show how the monks transformed the practice of writing through the introduction of spacing between words (absent in Roman script), variations in letter sizes and innovations in punctuation. Many examples of text and illuminations are then used to illustrate the treasure-trove of manuscripts the St Gallen Library continues to preserve for us all today.