Saturday, August 20, 2011
When was the first Christmas message printed in America? It had to come with European Christians, but who were the first Europeans in America? Did they come with Columbus, or did they come earlier with the Vikings; or even earlier with a band of Irish monks? The Navagatio, Saint Brendan’s account of his travels across the Atlantic, certainly predates the Viking voyages by some 400 years and establishes Irish visitors as early as the Sixth Century A.D., but no evidence had ever been found to support that claim. That lack of hard evidence led author Timothy Severin to duplicate the voyage of Brendan in 1977, in a leather-covered boat built to Brendan’s specifications, but unfortunately, that did little to convince the sceptics.