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Egbert of Iona, St.


Abbot bishop; b. 639; d. Easter Sunday, April 24,729. An Englishman by birth, he repaired to Ireland to study at the monastery of Rath Melsigi in Connacht. When the community was visited by a great plague, he was struck down and vowed that if cured he would willingly exile himself from England and go to Germany as a missionary. In a vision he was told that he had an even harder task to accomplish elsewhere, and he sent wigbert and later willibrord to undertake the mission to Germany and Frisia. He went to Iona (Hy) in Scotland and converted the monks there to the Roman system of determining the Easter date and to the Roman tonsure.

Feast: April 24.

Bibliography: bede, Ecclesiastical History 3:27, 4:26; 5:22. t. f. tout, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900 (London 18851900) 6:564565. w. bright, A Dictionary of Christian Biography, ed. w. smith and h. wace, (London 18771887) 2:4950. c. j. godfrey, The Church in Anglo-Saxon England (New York 1962).

[r. t. meyer]

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