Columba, Saint

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Columba, Saint

(kəlŭm`bə), or

Saint Columcille

(kŏl`əmkĭl') [Irish,=dove of the church], 521–97, Irish missionary to Scotland, called the Apostle of Caledonia. A prince of the O'Donnells of Donegal, he was educated at Moville and Clonard. In Ireland he founded the monastery schools of Derry (545), Durrow (553), and Kells (c.554). In 563, Columba and several companions sailed to Scotland. They landed at IonaIona
[Irish Ioua=island] or Icolmkill [Irish,=island of Columba of the church], island (1985 est. pop. 267), 3.5 mi (5.6 km) long and 1.5 mi (2.4 km) wide, Argyll and Bute, NW Scotland, one of the Inner Hebrides.
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, where they established their center and went about the Highlands and N Lowlands preaching. Before Columba's death N Scotland was almost entirely Christianized. St. Columba ranks with St. PatrickPatrick, Saint,
c.385–461, Christian missionary, the Apostle of Ireland, b. Bannavem Taberniae (an unknown place in Britain, possibly near the Severn or in Pembroke). He was one of the most successful missionaries in history.
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 and St. BridgetBridget, Saint,
453?–523?, Irish holy woman. She is often called St. Brigid, St. Bride, or St. Bridget of Kildare. Little is known of her, but she did found a great monastery at Kildare. She is buried at Downpatrick with St. Patrick and St.
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 as one of the three patron saints of the Irish; he is supposedly buried with them at Downpatrick. Feast: June 9.


See H. De Blacam, The Saints of Ireland (1942); C. H. Lawrence, Medieval Monasticism (1984).

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