The Annals of the Four Masters record the dies natalis of St. Columba in the year 592, cheating the blessed man out of five whole years of his earthly life (though I am certain from my study of St. Adomnán’s Vita Columbæ that Columba would have been more than happy to give them up). St. Columba died on 9 June 597.
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Colum Cille, son of Feidhlimidh, apostle of Alba, head of the piety of the most part of Ireland and Alba, next after Patrick, died in his own church in Hy, in Alba, after the thirty fifth year of his pilgrimage, on Sunday night precisely, the 9th day of June. Seventy seven years was his whole age when he resigned his spirit to heaven, as is said in this quatrain:
- Three years without light
was Colum in his Duibh-regles;
He went to the angels from his body,
after seven years and seventy.
Dallan Forgaill composed this on the death of Colum Cille:
- Like the cure of a physician without light,
like the separation of marrow from the bone,
Like a song to a harp without the ceis,
are we after being deprived of our noble.
– Annals of the Four Masters, M592.2.