Columcille (7 December 521 – 9 June 597 AD)
Columcille was born into a family of Irish high kings in 521 in County Donegal, Ireland. He studied at Clonnard Abbey and was ordained Deacon, and then Presbyter . Because of his missionary zeal he was recognised as one of the 12 apostles of Ireland.
In 563,he travelled to Scotland with 12 companions with the intention of preaching the Gospel to the Picts. King Conall, a cousin of Columcille gave him the Isle of Iona, which was about half way between his home country and the Caledonian Picts. A rough monastic settlement was quickly built, with church, refectory, and cells made of wattle, and it became Columcille’s base for proclaiming the Gospel to the Picts, especially north of Strathclyde and as far as Aberdeenshire and the Hebrides as well. It is said that he left for Scotland in order to win as many souls for Christ, as those who died in a war that he may have inspired, over a disagreement which may have had to do with a book he copied.
His first missionary success was with King Bridei who was impressed by miracles wrought at Columcille’s hand.
As Iona was base for evangelising Scotland, it became a missionary school for the entire Island of Britain. We note in passing that King Oswold of Northumbria was educated in Northern Scotland and was therefore affected by teachings from Iona, and requested a Bishop from Iona to convert his people.
In addition to being a missionary outpost, Iona became a centre of learning and study, and Columcille, as a religious man became a diplomat between warring kings.
When at Iona, Columcille was no idle man. He occupied himself in writing hymns, copying books, study and prayer. It is said he died before the altar of the church of Iona.
Heavenly Father, for penance, Columba was sent to gather members for the kingdom. Grant that as he proclaimed the gospel to Scotland, that we in shame for our sins should proclaim with the same fervour the Gospel to our neighbours and families. This we ask through Yeshua who lives and reins with you and Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (white)