Columba, Saint

Columba, Saint

[kuh-luhm-buh]
Columba, Saint, or Saint Columcille [Irish,=dove of the church], 521-97, Irish missionary to Scotland, called the Apostle of Caledonia. A prince of the O'Donnells of Donegal, he was educated at Moville and Clonard. In Ireland he founded the monastery schools of Derry (545), Durrow (553), and Kells (c.554). In 563, Columba and several companions sailed to Scotland. They landed at Iona, where they established their center and went about the Highlands and N Lowlands preaching. Before Columba's death N Scotland was almost entirely Christianized. St. Columba ranks with St. Patrick and St. Bridget as one of the three patron saints of the Irish; he is supposedly buried with them at Downpatrick. Feast: June 9.

See H. De Blacam, The Saints of Ireland (1942); C. H. Lawrence, Medieval Monasticism (1984).

or Colum or Columcille

(born circa 521, Tyrconnell—died June 8/9, 597, Iona; feast day June 9) Irish abbot and missionary. A member of the warrior aristocracy, he was excommunicated for his part in a bloody battle. Exiled, he set out to do penance as a missionary. He founded two famous monasteries in Ireland before taking 12 disciples to the Scottish island of Iona (circa 563), where they built a church and monastery that served as a base for the conversion of the Scottish Picts, and thereby Scotland, to Christianity.

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