While many Christians became monks in monasteries, some became anchorites, that is, solitary monks. The Irish anchorites, however, saw their mission not as living in isolation, but as wandering around by themselves. These were not specifically missionary wanderings, but they had that effect. In the sixth century, one of Ireland’s greatest saints, Columicille (or “Columba” in Latin), successfully introduced Christianity to Scotland.
As the middle ages progressed, however, the uniquely Celtic character of the Irish church, with its profoundly brilliant fusion of Celtic art with Christian art, its fusion of Celtic social organization and laws with monastic life, and its unique perigrinative character disappeared into the homogenizing trend of the higher middle ages.