[St. Pachomius Library]

St. Columba, Abbot of Iona

VI Century
St. Columba (or Columcille) of Iona was an Irishman who converted Scotland to Christianity in the sixth century. Born c. 521, he was the scion of a noble family, and as a youth, he studied with the bard, Master Gemman. He later studied under Sts. Finian of Moville and Finian of Clonard. In 551, Columba was ordained a priest; after his ordination, he founded several monasteries in Ireland. A dispute between him and King Diarmuid led to the saint's departure, in 563, to Iona, where he and twelve companions established a monastery. Columba made two trips to Ireland to attend synods, but he spent the rest of his life in Scotland. He died in 597.

Karen Rae Keck


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