St. Columba's Day

St. Columba's Day

June 9
Along with St. Bridget and St. Patrick, St. Columba (c. 521-597), also known as Colm Cille, Columeille, or Columcille, is a patron saint of Ireland. Although he led an exemplary life, traveling all over Ireland to set up churches, schools, and monasteries, he is chiefly remembered for his self-imposed exile to the island of Iona off the Scottish coast.
According to legend, Columba felt that he was responsible for the battle of Cuildremne, where 3,000 men were killed, and resolved to atone for his actions by winning 3,000 souls for Christ. He landed at Iona on the eve of Pentecost, and proceeded to found a monastery and school from which he and his disciples preached the gospel throughout Scotland. Although he had been forbidden to see his native country again, he returned several years later, allegedly blindfolded, to save the poets of Ireland, who were about to be expelled because they had grown so arrogant and overbearing.
St. Columba is also associated with the story of how the robin got its red breast. When Columba asked the robin who landed on his window sill to sing him a song, the robin sang the story of the crucifixion and how he had pulled the thorns out of Christ's forehead and, in doing so, had been covered with his blood.
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 97
DaysCustFaith-1957, p. 142
OxYear-1999, p. 242