Close to My Heart

My medal of St. Columba.

My medal of St. Columba depicts the Saint standing on a currach or coracle, a symbol of his exile over the sea from Ireland to Hy or Iona. The currach is a hide-covered wooden-framed boat. He wears the typical léine (shirt/tunic) covered with a blanket-like plaid (or brat) with hands extended in a cruciform pose. In his left hand he holds a book — An Cathach (“The Battler”) — the copy of the psalter which led to the Battle of Cúl Dreimhne and the Saint’s banishment from Ireland. The image of the Saint is surrounded by a circular ring with simple Hiberno-Saxon knot work and three bosses, one of which features a carved dove, another a spiral, and the topmost plain like the sun.

The reverse of the medal curiously features the natural birth date of St. Columba (i.e. AD 521) as opposed to his heavenly dies natalis, 9 June 597. There is an inscription which reads, “From Disgrace, Rising to Humility, Came the Word of God to Scotland by the Dove”.

The medal was cast from sterling silver for me by Garth Duncan, an artisan living on the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides, with half the fee for the work being donated to the local parish church.

Since having received it, I have never taken it off, except for the sacramental to be blessed by a priest.

Curator: Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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