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Life of Saint Columba: Apostle of Scotland

F. A. Forbes

Book Overview: 

Saint Columba (521 – 597) was an Irish abbot and missionary credited with spreading Christianity in present-day Scotland. He founded the important abbey on Iona, which became a dominant religious and political institution in the region for centuries. He is the Patron Saint of Derry. He was highly regarded by both the Gaels of Dál Riata and the Picts, and is remembered today as a Christian saint and one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland.

Columba reportedly studied under some of Ireland's most prominent church figures and founded several monasteries in the country. Around 563 he and his twelve companions crossed to Dunaverty near Southend, Argyll in Kintyre before settling in Iona in Scotland, then part of the Irish kingdom of Dál Riata, where they founded a new abbey as a base for spreading Christianity among the northern Pictish kingdoms who were pagan. He remained active in Irish politics, though he spent most of the remainder of his life in Scotland. Three surviving early medieval Latin hymns may be attributed to him. - Summary by Wikipedia

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Tir-Connell, St. Finnian, "Finnian of the Heart Devout" as the old
writers love to call him, was founding his great monastic school of
Moville on the northern side of Lough Cuan.

Not on his piety and sanctity alone did the renown of Finnian rest. He had been educated at the famous monastery of Whitehorn, founded by St. Ninian in the fourth century in the British kingdom of Galloway across the sea. St. Ninian was the friend of St. Martin of Tours, and it was from him that he obtained masons to build the Candida Casa or White House, the first stone church erected in Britain. Later, St. Finnian went on pilgrimage to Rome, a difficult and dangerous undertaking in days when ships consisted for the most part of a framework of willow overstretched with ox-hide; and famine, pestilence, wild beasts and barbarians were only a few of the perils that beset travellers by land. There he remained for three months, when he returned to Ireland,. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A fascinating life! Pleasantly surprised by how unsantized it was. It contained many accounts of the miraculous with no apologies or pandering to the modern skeptic.

This edition is NOT the Life of Columba by Adamnan, the key hagiography of St. Columba. It is instead an early 20th-century biography/hagiography which uses Adamnan's tale and others as its core.

It lovingly tells the Columba story of life in Ireland, the Battle of the Books, exile to Iona, evangeli

An interesting run down of the Gaelic Christian who led the Christianization of Scotland and isles. I've no idea how accurate this was, I suppose it skimmed on some parts but I wasn't looking for anything exhaustive to begin with.

A good introduction

This book is a nice introduction to the life, legend and legacy of Saint Colmcille in both Ireland and Scotland and ultimately beyond. I recommend having a map near by if you are not familiar with the areas.

Read for personal research after watching an excavation of a Monastery at Mull which included bones under an alter. I found this work of immense interest and its contents helpful and inspiring - number rating relates to the book's contribution to my needs.
Overall, this work is also a good resource f

I truly enjoyed this book. I had been looking for one about Saint Columba, I keep running across him in my reading. I have another book about him, but it is more scholarly, about the sources. This one just tells his story in a very spiritual way. As with anything from material this old, I read the f