Martin of Tours
The shaping of Celtic Christianity
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Sixteen hundred years after his death, Martin of Tours - soldier turned holy man and hermit - continues to exert a profound influence on our contemporary experience of the Christian faith as we increasingly embrace the Celtic spirituality which he inspired. Martin's rejection of the superficial establishment Christianity of the crumbling Roman Empire in favour of creating communities of believers as found in the New Testament, marked the beginning of a dynamic new era for western Christianity and ignited a flame that continues to burn brightly to this day. The story of St Martin is the story of the passion and energy of the Celtic people encountering the simplicity, heroism and joy of the early church and responding to it in mass conversion. Today, not only are hundreds of churches dedicated in his honour, but on Iona and throughout the British Isles, Celtic crosses and other ancient monuments can be found to this wise and generous saint whose dynamic leadership of the monastic community he founded directly inspired Patrick and Columba to their great missionary endeavours. Christopher Donaldson's vivid and compelling portrait re-establishes Martin of Tours as a spiritual leader with a message for our own day.