On the track of Irish monks in Europe

On the Pathways of the World / Sulle Strade del Mondo

by Enzo Farrinella

(Edizioni Casa Italia, €15.00; contact enzo.farinella@gmail.com)

Author Enzo Farinella has been for 40 years a well-known character in Irish cultural circles. Born in Sicily, with which he maintains proud connections, he came here as a journalist for the Italian News Agency and Vatican Radio. For some 20 years he was cultural attaché to the Italian Cultural Institute in Dublin, which was then a very active and colourful rendezvous, and today runs the Casa Italia Cultural centre.

But this is merely background. For much of this time a permanent feature of his activities has been the eagerness to popularise the Irish connections with Italy and other parts of Europe through the diaspora of Irish monks in what were once called the Dark Ages. Irish monks, as he has always emphasises, shed light into that darkness.

In this bilingual book, which has an introduction by the Italian Ambassador to Ireland, and Ireland’s Ambassador to Italy, summarises the renewal of the Faith across Europe.

He draws widely on previous scholarship, but his text is also informed by his personal knowledge of many of the places mentioned. A special status is given to St Cathaldus, and in an appendix a list of the churches across Europe where he is venerated.

Written with warm hearted enthusiasm, this book may well be an eye-opener for many which have forgotten or know little about Ireland’s important contribution to building the culture of what has become the modern Europe of the European Union.