Saint Columba of Iona

detail of a stained glass window depicting Saint Columba, created c.1900 by Meyer and Co; Cathedral of Saint Eugene, Derry, Northern Ireland; photographed on 17 September 2013 by Andreas F Borchert; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Apostle of the Picts
  • Apostle to Scotland
  • Coim
  • Colmcille
  • Colum
  • Columbkill
  • Columbkille
  • Columbus
  • Columcille
  • Columkill
  • Combs



Born to the Irish royalty, the son of Fedhlimidh and Eithne of the Ui Neill clan. Bard. Miracle worker. Monk at Moville. Spiritual student of Saint Finnian. Priest. Itinerant preacher and teacher throughout Ireland and Scotland. Spiritual teacher of Saint Corbmac, Saint Phelim, Saint Drostan, Saint Colman McRhoi and Saint Fergna the White; uncle of Saint Ernan. Travelled to Scotland in 563. Exiled to Iona on Whitsun Eve, he founded a monastic community there and served as its abbot for twelve years. He and the monks of Iona, including Saint Baithen of Iona and Saint Eochod, then evangelized the Picts, converting many, including King Brude. Attended the Council of Drumceat, 575. Legend says he wrote 300 books.





Additional Information


My Druid is Christ, the son of God, Christ, Son of Mary, the Great Abbot, The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Saint Columba

O Lord, grant us that love which can never die, which will enkindle our lamps but not extinguish them, so that they may shine in us and bring light to others. Most dear Savior, enkindle our lamps that they may shine forever in your temple. May we receive unquenchable light from yo so that our darkness will be illuminated and the darkness of the world will be made less. Amen. Saint Columba

The holy Columba was born of noble parents, having as his father Fedelmith, Fergus’ son, and his mother, Ethne by name, whose father may be called in Latin “son of a ship,” and in the Irish tongue Mac-naue. In the second year after the battle of Cul-drebene, the forty-second year of his age, Columba sailed away from Ireland to Britain, wishing to be a pilgrim for Christ. Devoted even from boyhood to the Christian novitiate and the study of philosophy, preserving by God‘s favour integrity of body and purity of soul, he showed himself, though placed on earth, ready for the life of heaven; for he was angelic in aspect, refined in speech, holy in work, excellent in ability, great in counsel. Living as an island soldier for thirty-four years, he could not pass even the space of a single hour without applying himself to prayer, or to reading, or to writing or some kind of work. Also by day and by night, without any intermission, he was so occupied with unwearying labours of fasts and vigils that the burden of each several work seemed beyond the strength of man. And with all this he was loving to everyone, his holy face ever showed gladness, and he was happy in his inmost heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. – Adomnan, from his biography of Columba

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Columba of Iona“. CatholicSaints.Info. 6 April 2021. Web. 8 December 2021. <>