Missing the Letter “I” Alone

The Cathach of St. Columba.

QUADAM die Baitheneus, ad Sanctum accedens, ait, “Necesse habeo ut aliquis de fratribus mecum Psalterium quod scripsi percurrens emendet.”  Quo audito, Sanctus sic profatur, “Cur hanc super nos infers sine causa molestiam? nam in tuo hoc, de quo dicis, Psalterio nec una superflua reperietur litera, nec alia deesse, excepta I vocali, quae sola deest.”  Et sic, toto perlecto Psalterio, sicuti Sanctus praedixerat repertum exploratum est.

— St. Adomnán’s Vita Columbæ, Chapter XVII.

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This little story is an attestation to the fidelity with which the Ionan monks hand-copied manuscripts, often Psalters.  In the course of St. Adomnán’s Vita, St. Columba is often found writing, obviously a very central part of the monastic life on Iona.  St. Baithéne was successor to the abbacy of Iona after Columba.

Published by 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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