Saturday, June 9, 2012

Feast day

Today is the feast day of St. Columba (521 - 597):

He was born in Donegal, Ireland to a royal clan and is known as one of the 12 Apostles of Ireland

He received a monastic education, studying under St. Finnian. He became a monk and eventually ordained a priest. During this time he is said to have founded a number of monasteries, including ones at Kells, Derry, and Swords.

 In the middle of his life, Columba traveled with twelve companions by small boat from Ireland to the island of Iona off Scotland's coast. Despite Iona's remote location, the monastery Columba established there was an important part of the evangelization of Scotland and England, and for many years after his death, Celtic Christians continued to follow Columban traditions and the Columban Rule.

During his more than thirty years on Iona Columba trained monks, offered spiritual direction, and made hundreds of copies of sacred texts. He served as a peacemaker between warring clans and traveled as a missionary to the northern Picts, among others.

Columba was known for his beautiful voice, deep prayer life, and charismatic personality as well as for his work with sacred texts. He is the patron saint of Scotland and Ireland.

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