Dr Thérèse Cullen

Saturday 23 September, 2pm

In the Footsteps of St Columbanus:
A Pilgrimage from Bangor to Bobbio

Studio 1A


Join us for an illustrated talk on the life of St Columbanus, which considers the influence of Bangor Abbey beyond these shores. Following in the footsteps of Columba, the first of the Irish saints to embark on perpetual pilgrimage, Columbanus set sail from Bangor in 591, founding monasteries across Europe, from Gaul to Bobbio. Columbanus was the first person to express an Irish identity in writing, and to project the concept of a united Europe. Indeed, following the Second World War, Robert Schuman, the architect of the European Union, found inspiration in Columbanus, describing him as ‘the patron saint of all those who seek to construct a united Europe.’ Drawing on the Columbanus’ writing, his Penitentials and Monastic Rule, Thérèse’s talk will reflect on Columbanus’ writings, influence and the contemporary stories of modern pilgrims who still walk in his footsteps – many of them guided by her.

Dr Thérèse Cullen is a graduate of Irish Studies at Queen’s University Belfast. She runs her own company, Irish Monastic Tours, providing tours which explore the archaeology and history of monastic Ireland and its saints. She has led many groups on the continent in the footsteps of St Columbanus, to Iona and across Ireland. Thérèse has a keen sense of engaging with public history and using her expertise in a meaningful way. She has featured several times on BBC Radio’s Talk Back and Sunday Sequence.

In the Footsteps of St Columbanus