Calendar of Scottish Saints – Saint Adamnan of Coldingham, A.D. (about) 686


31 January. In the monastery of Coldingham, over which Saint Ebba presided, was a monk of great sanctity and austerity named Adamnan. It is not certain whether he was a native of Scotland or not. In his youth Adamnan had led a life of great licentiousness, and being converted by the grace of God from his evil ways was moved with a desire to do penance for his sins. Accordingly he sought the counsel of a certain Irish priest, to whom he made a general confession and confided his desire of entering upon a penitential life. So deep was his sorrow that he expressed himself ready to accept any penance his director might impose, even to spending whole nights in prayer, or fasting for a week continuously. The priest having imposed upon him the penance of taking food twice only in a week until he should see him again, departed into Ireland, and died there before Adamnan was able to consult him a second time. Taking this as a sign of God’s Will that he was to persevere in his heroic course of penance, Adamnan resolved to continue to the end the hard life begun by the counsel of the Irish priest. Having become {16} a monk at Coldingham after his conversion, he lived there for many years, and was made one of the priests of the monastery. He died in the odour of sanctity after being favoured with the gift of prophecy.

MLA Citation

  • Father Michael Barrett, OSB. “Saint Adamnan of Coldingham, A.D. (about) 686”. The Calendar of Scottish Saints, 1919. CatholicSaints.Info. 22 January 2014. Web. 23 January 2019. <>