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Columba, St

Columba, St (d. 597). Founder, in 565, of the monastery of Iona, which contributed to conversion in Northumbria, Mercia, and Pictland. Born between 519 and 522 into the Cenél Conaill of Donegal branch of the northern royal Uí Néill, Columba had founded Derry in the 550s and possibly Durrow and Kells before his condemnation at the Synod of Teltown (Co. Meath), for involvement in the battle of Cúl Drebene (561), prompted him to be pilgrim-exile in the southern part of Dalriada, where King Conall gave him Iona (574). Columba's major concern was the pastoral needs of Dalriada, but his visits to King Bridei facilitated 7th-cent. foundations in east Pictland. Revered in his foundations and their offshoots, including Lindisfarne, he was belittled by Wilfrid in debate at Whitby (664). This perhaps prompted Abbot Cumméne the White to compose a (lost) biography, used by Adomnán. Columba may have instigated the royal conference of Drumceat (Druim Cett) (575) which considered constitutional relations of the people of Irish Dalriada, with their king in Scotland, and with the Uí Néill high king. His political eminence may explain why he was regarded as one whose prayers gained victory for favoured kings, including Oswald. His crozier and a psalter associated with him were, later, taken into battle. His relics were translated c.849, to Dunkeld (Perthshire) in Pictland, and to Kells.

A. E. Redgate

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Columba, Saint

Saint Columba (kəlŭm´bə), or Saint Columcille (kŏl´əmkĬl´) [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).

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Columba, St

Columba, St (c.521–97). Christian abbot and missionary, trained in Irish monasteries, who, in c.563 established himself and twelve companions on the island of Iona. He remained there as a base for evangelizing the Scottish mainland and establishing monasteries on other nearby islands. Though not a bishop, he exercised ecclesiastical authority in the area, and consecrated the new king of the Scots in 574. He is also known for three Latin poems and for his skill as a scribe. Feast day, 9 June.

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Columba, Saint

Columba, Saint (521–97) Irish Christian missionary in Ireland and Scotland. He founded several monasteries throughout Ireland. In 563, he left Ireland and founded an important monastery on the island of Iona. As Abbot of Iona, he strove to convert the Picts of n Scotland to Christianity. His feast day is June 9.

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Columba, St

Columba, St (c.521–97), Irish abbot and missionary. He established the monastery at Iona in c.563, and converted the Picts to Christianity. St Columba contributed significantly to the literature of Celtic Christianity. His feast day is 9 June.

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