For the Irish so loved the Book… They built shrines in which to house them.
On this St. Patrick’s Day, I’m reminded of the monks who illuminated the Book of Kells and other precious manuscripts. Beyond their talents as artists, scribes and custodians, their dedication to preserving vital texts sometimes extended to the creation of ‘cumdachs’. And they are stunning.
A cumdach or book shrine is an elaborate ornamented box or case used as a reliquary to enshrine books regarded as relics of the saints who had used them in Early Medieval Ireland. They are normally dated later than the book they contain, often by several centuries. (from Wikipedia).
Today is an ideal time to take a moment and appreciate the beauty of some of these unique and exquisite contributions from the Irish that will speak to every book lover’s heart.