Storms and Songs

Mark J. Janssen
4 min readFeb 1, 2024

A group of Orthodox Christians educated me to the fact that Christianity originally was brought to England by heretical Greek Christians fleeing for their lives. From there it spread to the surrounding countries of Cornwall, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. This is not something you will read in Wikipedia. Nor will you find this in traditional Western Church teachings. But it sure is a lot more interesting than what we’ve been led to believe.

There’s an old story that goes back to the English Middle Ages. A man named Chad and his three brothers lived in what was the country of Mercia and is now known as the Midlands. All four of the brothers became monks. (The word monk comes from the Greek monos or alone. It refers to both men and women monastics in this article.) We’ve long accepted the idea that Western Christian life is run out of Rome. Not so during much of the Middle Ages. To the contrary, during the Middle Ages there were enormous divisions between the Roman Church and various other flavors of European Christianity, including the Irish Celtic Church. Chad and his brothers were like most other Anglo-Saxon monks of that period. Like other English monks they began their spiritual studies in English monasteries often founded by Irish monks. There they studied Celtic Christian spirituality and monasticism under those and other Irish monks. Later they went to Ireland to further their studies. The Irish form of monastic life flowed from the concept of Martin of Tours. Under Martin monasteries were comprised of groups of hermits and travelling monks who went from one holy man to the…

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Mark J. Janssen

Mark Janssen is a spiritual warrior, mystic and author. His writes a weekly blog. His memoir “Reach for the Stars” is available online and in bookstores.