Vitreus Codex

OF THE ANGEL OF THE LORD WHO APPEARED VISIBLY TO
ST. COLUMBA WHILE STAYING IN HINBA ISLAND, WHEN SENT TO ORDAIN AEDHAN TO BE KING.

At another time, while the famous man was staying in Hinba island†, one night in an ecstasy of mind he saw an angel of the Lord sent to him, who had in his hand the glassy book (vitreum librum) of the ordination of kings, which the venerable man, when he had received it from the hand of the angel, at his bidding began to read. And when he refused to ordain Aedhan to be king, as was recommended to him in the book, because he loved logenan his brother more; suddenly the angel put out his hand and smote the Saint with a scourge, the livid mark of which remained on his side all the days of his life. And he added this word, saying, “Know for certain that I am sent unto thee from God with the glassy book (vitreum codicem), that, according to the words which thou hast read in it, thou mayest ordain Aedhan to the kingdom. And if thou art not willing to obey this command, I will smite thee again.” When, therefore, this angel of the Lord appeared for three nights in succession, having in his hand that glassy book, and committed to him the same commands of the Lord concerning the ordination of that king, the Saint, obeying the word of the Lord, sailed over to the Iouan island (Iona), and there ordained Aedhan, who arrived in those days, to be king, as he had been commanded. And among the words of ordination he prophesied future events concerning his sons and grandsons and great grandsons, and, placing his hand upon his head, ordained and blessed him.

Cuimine (Cummian) the Fair, in the book which he wrote of the virtues of St. Columba, has thus said, that St. Columba began to prophesy of Aedhan and his posterity, and of his kingdom, saying, “Believe without doubting, Aedhan, that none of thine adversaries will be able to resist thee, until thou first actest fraudulently against me and against my successors. Wherefore, then, do thou commend it to thy sons, that they may commend it to their sons and grandsons and posterity, lest they through evil counsels lose the sceptre of this their kingdom out of their hands. For at whatsoever time they do anything against me or against my kinsmen who are in Ireland, the scourge, which for thy sake I have endured from the angel, shall by the hand of God be turned upon them to their great disgrace and the heart of men shall be taken away from them, and their enemies shall be greatly strengthened over them.”

Now this prophecy has been fulfilled in our own times, in the battle of Roth‡, when Domhnall Brecc, grandson of Aedhan, without cause wasted the province of Domhnall, grandson of Ainmire. And from that day to this they are ever on the decline through means of strangers, which excites in the breast deep sighs of grief.

— St. Adomnán’s Vita Columbæ, Book III, Chapter v.

† The Columban retreat isle of Hinba is perhaps Eileach an Naoimh (Eilean-na-Naoimh) [rocky place/island of the saint], the Holy Isle, southernmost of the Garvellachs archipelago, lying in Firth of Lorne between Mull and Argyll.
‡ The Battle of Moira, known archaically as the Battle of Mag Rath, was fought in the summer of 637 by the Gaelic High King of Ireland Domnall II against his foster son King Congal of Ulster, supported by his ally Domnall the Freckled (Domnall Brecc) of Dalriada. The battle was fought near the Woods of Killultagh, just outside the village of Moira in what would become County Down. It was allegedly the largest battle ever fought on the island of Ireland, and resulted in the death of Congal and the retreat of Domnall Brecc.

Next after Colum Cille Himself

Iona Abbey.
Iona Abbey.

9. F. QUINTO IDUS IUNII.

BAOITHIN, abbot of I-Coluim-Cille, next after Colum Cille himself; and Tech Baoithin in Cinel Conaill was his chief church, for he was of the race of Conall Gulban. It was to this Baoithin it was permitted to see the three grand chairs in heaven empty, awaiting some of the saints of Erin, viz., a chair of gold, and a chair of silver, and a chair of glass, and he told Colum Cille at I the vision which was shown unto him; for he used to be always along with Colum Cille, for they were close in consanguinity and friendship, i.e., they were the sons of two brothers. It was then Colum Cille gave the interpretation to him of the thing which he had seen, for he was a famous prophet, so that he said then: The chair of gold which thou hast seen is the chair of Ciáran, son of the carpenter, the reward of his sanctity, and hospitality, and charity. The chair of silver which thou hast seen is thine own chair, for the brightness and effulgence of thy piety. The chair of glass is my own chair, for although I am pure and bright, I am brittle and fragile, in consequence of the battles which were fought on my account. So that it was after this he (Colum Cille) resolved upon the celebrated abstinence, i.e., to take nettle pottage as food for the future, without dripping or fat whatever, so that the impression of his ribs through his woollen tunic was seen in the sandy beach, which is by the side of I when he used to lie on it at night.

Now, Baoithin was four years in the abbacy at I after the death of Colum Cille, for it was from among the men of Erin the abbot of I was chosen; and he was most frequently chosen from the men of Cinel Conaill. When he used to eat food, he was wont to say, “Deus in adjutorium meum intende,” between every two morsels. When he used to be gathering corn along with the monks he held one hand up beseeching God, and another hand gathering the corn. Baoithin resigned his soul to heaven after the four years aforesaid, on the same day of the month that Colum Cille went to Heaven A.D. 600.

Martyrology of Donegal, A Calendar of the Saints of Ireland, by Michael O’Clery, James Henthorn Todd, William Reeves (Bp. of Down, Connor and Dromore).

Fertill, Fruitfull, and Full of Natural Grassing

Kildalton Cross, a monolithic high cross in Celtic cross form, in the churchyard of the former parish church of Kildalton (from Scottish Gaelic Cill Daltain, "Church of the Foster Son" (i.e. St John the Evangelist)) on the island of Islay in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland.
Kildalton Cross, a monolithic high cross in Celtic cross form, in the churchyard of the former parish church of Kildalton (from Scottish Gaelic Cill Daltain, “Church of the Foster Son” (i.e. St John the Evangelist)) on the island of Islay.

Nar this forsaid iyle on the west syde of it layes Ila, ane ile of twentie myle lenthe from the north to the south, and sixteen myle in breadth from the eist to the west, fertill, fruitfull, and full of natural grassing, with maney grate Diere, maney woods, faire games of hunting beside everey toune, with ane watter callit Laxay, wherupon maney salmon are slaine, with ane salt water Loch, callit Lochegunord, quherin runs the water of Gyinord, with high sandey bankes, upon the quhilk bankes upon the sea lyes infinit Selccheis, whilkis are slayne with doges learnt to the same effect. In Ila is meikle lead ure in Moychills. In this iyle there is ane guid raid for schipps, callit in Erische Polmoir, and in English the Mechell-puill, this layes at ane toune callit Lanlay Vanych, ane uther raid layes within Ellan Grynard, callit in English the isle at the poynt of the nesse, the raid is callit Leodannis. Within this iyle ther is sundrie-freshe water Lochis, sic as Lochmoyburge wherin ther layes ane iyle perteining to the Bishopes of the Isles. The loch of Ellan Charrin, quherin ther is ane iyle pertyning to M’Gillane of Doward. Loch Cherossa with ane iyle perteining to the Abbot of Colmkill. In this iyle there is strenths castells, the first is callit Dunowaik the biggest on ane Craig at the sea side, on the southeist pairt of the countery pertaining to the Clandonald of Kintyre; second is callit the castle of Lochgurne, quhilk is biggit in ane iyle within the said fresche water Loche far fra land, pertaining of auld to the Clandonald of Kintyre, now usurped be M’Gillayne of Doward. Ellan Forlagan in the midle of Ila, ane faire iyle in fresche water.

— Description of the Western Isles of Scotland, called Hybrides; by Mr Donald Monro High Dean of the Isles who travelled through the most of them in the year 1549.