Monasteries

Skellig Michael

This small island off the west coast of Ireland recently became a film star, but Skellig Michael has a rich history all its own. An ancient monastery, lighthouses and the island's status as a bird sanctuary all make up its story.

She's sometimes called the patron saint of cats, and the story of Gertrude's religious devotion starts when she was just a young child. Her family's history is important, because they formed the roots of the Carolingian dynasty.

Hildegard von Bingen

Hildegard was a Christian mystic of medieval Europe who was way, way ahead of her time. If she had lived a few hundred years later, and been male, people probably would have called her a renaissance man.