Abbot, 6th century. Saint Cormac was another Irish saint. From his early youth he followed a monastic life, and eventually became a disciple of Saint Columba. In after years he became Abbot of Dearmagh, now known as Durrow, in King’s County. This charge he resigned in order to give himself to missionary life. He had always been of a brave and enterprising nature, and more than once in his missionary career his zeal led him to venture on the high seas, in quest of some pagan land where he might preach the Faith, or of some desert region where he might live in closer communion with God.
In one of his journeys he visited Saint Columba at Iona, and afterwards sailed as far as the Orkneys, where the pagan people were minded to put him to death. But one of the chiefs had long before made a solemn promise to Saint Columba, who had seen in vision the coming of Cormac to the islands and his threatened death, that no harm should happen to him in the Orkneys. This intervention was successful.
Neither the place nor time of Saint Cormac’s death is known with any certainty, but an ancient Irish tradition asserts that he returned to Durrow and was buried there.
A fragment still exists of the “Crozier of Durrow”, which is considered to be the most ancient relic of its kind now extant. It is believed to have belonged to the founder of Durrow, the great Columba, and to have been given by him to his disciple, Cormac.