Feast day: June 9
Born in Ireland, Columba spent his early years in monasteries, learning the life of prayer and study under the tutelage of St. Finnian. After he was ordained, he spent 15 years preaching and founding monasteries, including in Derry, Durrow and Kells. A dispute arose between Columba and St. Finnian over the ownership of a psalter copy. Finnian claimed Columba’s copy, and King Diarmid sided with him, resulting in a clan feud which left 3,000 men dead. Choosing exile as his penance, Columba left for Scotland with 12 kinsmen to found the island monastery of Iona. He evangelized the Picts and converted their king. The monks trained at Iona evangelized throughout Europe. Columba died on June 9, 597. He is the patron of Derry, Ireland and Scotland.
O God, who in your kindness
called your servant St. Columba to the following of Christ,
grant, we pray, through his intercession,
that, denying ourselves,
we may hold fast to you with all our heart.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.