St Columba


c 521-97, abbot
Feast day 9th June
Born in Donegal of the royal Ui Neill clan, trained as a monk by St Finnian. Founded monasteries of Derry, Durrow and, probably, Kells. Left Ireland in 563, for reasons unknown, with twelve companions for Iona, an island off SW Scotland given by the ruler of the Irish Dalriada. Spent rest of his life, apart from occasional returns to Ireland, in Scotland where he would appear to be leader of the Irish in Scotland rather than the apostle of Scotland.
Principal source of information is the famous Life by St Adamnan (Adomnan) from which he emerges as a forceful, charismatic personality combining the skills of scholar, poet and ruler.
Although he founded two churches in Inverness it would appear that much of his missionary work, away from the Irish part of Scotland, has been exaggerated or confused with a later followers or near name-sake St Colm of Buchan.

Patron saint of Arbory Parish


D.H.Farmer The Oxford Dictionary of Saints 1978
Adamnan Life of Saint Columba ed Wm Reeves reprinted 1988 Llanerch Enterprises (ISBN 0-947992-19-7)

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The stained glass is taken from one of the windows in St Johns.

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 1999