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.
received a monastic education, studying under St. Finnian. He became a monk and eventually ordained
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.