Monday, March 12, 2007

Monk's Day, Illuminated Manuscripts, and Book of Kells

In school, our daughter's 4th grade class has been studying the Middle Ages, and in order to understand more about life in the monastery, they had a Monk's Day, where they fasted (a little), wore simple Monk's clothes, took a vow of silence (broken a little), and devoted themselves to monastic devotions like singing and reading and copying Scripture. About a week later, she surprised me by telling me that that was one of her favorite days. Why? I asked - and she answered, "I loved doing the calligraphy. It was so beautiful."

One of their activities was to write verses from the Bible using calligraphy pens on parchment paper. Her teacher had copied a beautiful border onto the sheets and they meticulous hand-painted it in watercolors. They also stitched together the different pages with needle and thread.



Illuminated manuscripts are a beautiful legacy of medieval monasteries. One of the most remarkable is the Book of Kells, copied around 800 A.D. and tucked away in the monastery for safekeeping so it wouldn't be destroyed by Viking raiders.



We really are out of town now - we'll be back blogging later this week.

Book of Kells Images

Book of Kells, Austin College


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2 comments:

Gail said...

Ah, the Book of Kells. One of my favorites. I think it originated in the monastery at Iona, but was moved to the one at Kells because of Viking raids. (They were apparently not interested in art collection or Christian scriptures at that time - just the cattle,etc.) Monk's Day sounds like a great thing. Where is this school located? I do illuminated manuscripts and have often volunteered in schools.

Drs. Fernette and Brock Eide said...

We're in Washington State. It's Providence Classical Christian School.

Do you have a website of your illuminated manuscripts?

Thanks for your note!

Previous Latin Sayings of the Week

"Soli deo gloria." - For the glory of God alone.


Christus resurrexit! Vere resurrexit! - Christ is Risen! He is risen, indeed!



"Lex malla, lex nulla." - St. Thomas Aquinas
(A bad law is no law.)


"Cantantes licet usque (minus via laedit) eamus. " - Let us go singing as far as we go: the road will be less tedious.


"Caelitus mihi vires." - My strength is from heaven.

"Magnificat anima mea Dominum, et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo Salvatore meo" - My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior (Luke 1:45)

In Omnibus Ipse Primatum Tenens “That in all things He (Christ) might have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:16-18)


"Qui bene cantat bis orat." - He who sings well, prays twice - (St Augustine)

"Nos fecisti ad te et inquietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te." -
Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee. (St Augustine)

"Caelitus mihi vires
." - My strength is from heaven.

"Ubi caritas et amor Deus ibi est." - Where there is charity and love, God is there.

"Nisi credideritis, non intelligetis ."

Unless you will have believed, you will not understand. - St Augustine

"Deo vindice" - With God as Protector


"Credite amori vera dicenti." - Believe love speaking the truth. (St. Jerome)


De vitiis nostris scalam nobis facimus, si vitia ipsa calcamus." - If we tread our vices under feet, we make them a ladder to rise to higher things. (St. Augustine)

Dei gratia - By the grace of God

Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum. - The Word of the Lord Endures Forever.

"Est autem fides credere quod nondum vides; cuius fidei merces est videre quod credis." - Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. (St. Augustine)

"Deo iuvante" - with God's help

"Ut In Omnibus Glorificetur Deus." - That God may be glorified in all things

"Pax vobiscum." Peace be with you.

"Jubilate Deo." Be joyful in the Lord.

"Ille vir, haud magna cum re, sed plenus fidei." He is a man, not of ample means, but full of good faith.

"Facit enim mihi magna qui potens est." - For He that is mighty does to me great things.

"Oremus semper pro invicem." - Let us ever pray for each other.

"Distrahit animum librorum multitudo." - Seneca
A multitude of books distracts the mind.

"Nullam est nunc dictum, quod sit non dictum prius." - Terence
There is nothing said now, that has not been said before.

"Nosce te ipsum." - Plato
Know thyself.

"Non mihi, non tibi, sed nobis" - Not for you, not for me, but for us.

"Primum non nocere." - First, do no harm (Hippocrates)

"Est autem fides credere quod nondum vides; cuius fidei merces est videre quod credis." - Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. (St. Augustine)

"Deo iuvante" - with God's help

"Ut In Omnibus Glorificetur Deus." - That God may be glorified in all things

"Pax vobiscum." Peace be with you.

"Jubilate Deo." Be joyful in the Lord.

"Ille vir, haud magna cum re, sed plenus fidei." He is a man, not of ample means, but full of good faith.

"Facit enim mihi magna qui potens est." - For He that is mighty does to me great things.

"Oremus semper pro invicem." - Let us ever pray for each other.

"Distrahit animum librorum multitudo." - Seneca
A multitude of books distracts the mind.

"Nullam est nunc dictum, quod sit non dictum prius." - Terence
There is nothing said now, that has not been said before.

"Nosce te ipsum." - Plato
Know thyself.

"Non mihi, non tibi, sed nobis" - Not for you, not for me, but for us.

"Primum non nocere." - First, do no harm (Hippocrates)

"Dei plena sunt omnia." - Cicero (All things are full of God.)