Sunken Stones by Strachur

Some ancient stone crosses are yet standing near this ancient pile [i.e. the ruins of Iona Abbey], with inscriptions no longer intelligible. Previous to the Reformation, there existed 860 of various sizes and beautiful workmanship. Many of which, were carried away to adorn the streets of distant towns and villages; and in Cowal, there is […]

Mecca of the Gael

In spiritual geography Iona is the Mecca of the Gael. It is but a small isle, fashioned of a little sand, a few grasses salt with the spray of an ever-restless wave, a few rocks that wade in heather and upon whose brows the sea-wind weaves the yellow lichen. But since the remotest days sacrosanct […]

I Do Not Compare the Disciple with the Master

Baithen was a man of tender soul, of whom we would fain speak at greater length, if it were not needful to circumscribe the wide and confused records of Celtic hagiography. Columba compared him to St John the Evangelist; he said that his beloved disciple resembled him who was the beloved disciple of Christ, by his exquisite […]

Once the Luminary of the Caledonian Regions

Perhaps, in the revolutions of the world, Iona may be sometime again the instructress of the Western Regions. James Boswell, The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides

The Whole Illand is Church Land

Icollumkill, antiently called Iona, lays from Colle to the south and south-east about thirty-six myils of sea, and is distant from the south end of Mulle about one myil of sea. It is two myills in lenth, and almost from east to west, and one mile in bredth. It is very fertill; commodious for fishing […]

Like An Unsullied Sun

Now when Colomb Cille came to his ending, and when the bell for nocturn was struck on the night of Pentecost Sunday, he went before the rest to the church and made prostration and fervent prayer at the altar. Then an angelic radiance filled the church around him on every side, and there the venerable […]

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 Gentle Birth of Colum, Our Cleric

Kal. iv. A.D. 518 Battle of Detna, in Droma-Bregh, in which fell Ardgal, son of Conall Crimhthann, son of Niall. Muircertach Mac Earca, and Colga, son of Cloith, son of Crunn, son of Fedhlimidh, King of Airghiall, were the victors. Buti, son of Bronach, died, and Colum Cille was born, of whom was said:— The gentle […]

Fertill, Fruitfull, and Full of Natural Grassing

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 […]