Saints of the Day – Adamnan of Coldingham, Monk


Died c.680; cultus confirmed by Pope Leo XIII in 1897. Saint Adamnan was an Irish pilgrim priest who became a monk at the double monastery of Coldingham near Berwick, Scotland, which was ruled by the abbess-founder, Saint Ebba. He should not be confused with the Adamnan who wrote the biography of Saint Columba of Iona.

Today’s Adamnan established a reputation for his extreme austerity and the rigor with which he kept the Rule, which went beyond even that of traditional Irish monasticism. He was a very serious man, who criticized those whose actions he saw as frivolous. In a vision he learned that the monastery would be destroyed by fire because of “senseless gossip and fivolities.” For this reason he insisted that monastic discipline be maintained more stringently. This omen unsettled the abbess, who was reassured by Adamnan that the event would not occur in her lifetime. Unfortunately, despite her personal holiness and renewed efforts to enforce the rule, Saint Ebba was not a gifted administrator. After her death the fervor of the community declined again and was destroyed in 683, shortly after Adamnan’s death (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, D’Arcy, Montague, Montalembert).

MLA Citation

  • Katherine I Rabenstein. Saints of the Day, 1998. CatholicSaints.Info. 21 August 2020. Web. 29 November 2020. <>