The Life of Saint Columba, Apostle of Scotland


Produced by David McClamrock THE LIFE OF SAINT COLUMBA APOSTLE OF SCOTLAND BY F.A. FORBES SECOND EDITION R. & T. WASHBOURNE, LTD. PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON AND AT MANCHESTER, BIRMINGHAM, AND GLASGOW 1919 All rights reserved Nihil Obstat. FRANCISCUS CANONICUS WYNDHAM Censor Deputatus Imprimatur. + EDM. CAN. SURMONT Vic. Gen. WESTMONASTERII, die 7 Octobris, 1913. STANDARD-BEARERS OF THE FAITH A SERIES OF LIVES OF THE SAINTS FOR YOUNG AND OLD SAINT COLUMBA "The Kingdom of Heaven, O man, requireth no other price than thyself: the value of it is thyself: give thyself for it and thou shalt have it."--ST. AUGUSTINE AUTHOR'S PREFACE THOUGH more than 1300 years have gone by since the death of St. Columba, there are few saints whose memory is so living and so strong. This is partly due to his vivid and attractive personality, but in a great measure also to the fact that we have his Biography or Life written at great length by Adamnan, ninth abbot of Iona, who was born only twenty-seven years after Columba's death. Adamnan, who was very young when he entered the community at Iona, could have gathered the materials for his book from the lips of those who had personally known the great Apostle of Scotland, and who had been eye-witnesses of the events recorded. We know that these friends were many, and drawn from all classes, for Columbcille, above all the men of his time, had the gift of being loved, and many instances are related of the passionate devotion of the monks of Iona to their great abbot, no less than that of the multitudes with whom in his long and busy life he had come in contact. Adamnan is considered to be a sober and trustworthy author, and has not exaggerated, as many of the later writers undoubtedly have, the miraculous element in the life of the Saint. Carlyle, who cannot be considered as an advocate of the supernatural, remarks of the Life of St. Columba: "You can see that the man who wrote it could tell no lie. What he meant you cannot always find out; but it is clear that he told things as they appeared to him." There are many interesting relics of Columba still in existence. An ancient stone chalice which he is said to have used at Mass is still preserved in Ireland, together with the flagstone which formed the flooring of Eithne's room the night that he was born. A pathetic custom exists amongst the poor Irish emigrants of sleeping the night before they leave their country on this stone, in the hope that he who made himself an exile from his country for the love of God will by his prayers make the burden of their sorrow easier to bear. The stone which he used for so many years as a pillow is still to be seen amongst the ruins of the cathedral of Iona, which was erected in the twelfth century near the site of the old abbey church of Columba's building, while the ruins of St. Oran's chapel near at hand enclose the very spot

F. A. (Frances Alice) Forbes

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