Saint Machar

St Machor was one of the disciples of St Columba, the famous apostle of the Northern Picts and founder of the celebrated monastery of Iona. According to the ‘Aberdeen Breviary,’ “sanctum virum gignit Hibernia, educavit illum Albania, cujus corpus in reverentia Turonensis tenet ecclesia.” He was the son of Syaconus or Fiachna, an Irish kingling, […]

Mo druí, Mac Dé

SAINT COLUMBA’S SONG OF TRUST. I TREAD the mountain passes through the gloom Alone, save that Thy Presence can illume, Sun of my soul! these rough ways of the night, And turn the fearsome darkness into light. Should that day dawn—the last that I should see— No mightiest aid could save from Thy decree: No […]

Altus Prosator “F”

CAPITULUM F TITLE: De laude Dei ab angelis in quarta feria dicentes Sanctus Sanctus Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth. ARGUMENT: ‘Quando feci celum et terram collaudaverunt me angeli’; ut in Sapientia Salomonis dicitur. Factis simul sideribus etheris luminaribus collaudaverunt angeli factura praemirabili immensae molis dominum opificem celestium preconia laudabile debito et immobile concentuque egregio grates egerunt […]

Altus Prosator “E”

CAPITULUM E TITLE: De creatione elementorum mundi et hominis regentis ea postea more regis. ARGUMENT: ‘In principio fecit Deus celum et terram’ ut in Genesi dicitur.–(Gen. i. 1.) Excelsus mundi machinam previdens et armoniam caelum et terram fecerat mare et aquas condidit herbarum quoque germina virgultorum arbuscula solem lunam ac sidera ignem ac necessaria aves […]

Canna, Cross, and Camel

The island of Canna, along with the islands of Eigg, Muck, and Rum, form the parish of Small Isles, in Inverness-shire. The church of Canna, dedicated to St. Columba, stood about the centre of the island, in the bottom of a narrow glen. There are two burying-grounds close to each other. In the older one, […]

“God thee bless, thou loved Iona.”

THE DEATH OF COLUMBA. Saxon stranger, thou did’st wisely, Sunder’d for a little space From that motley stream of people Drifting by this holy place; With the furnace and the funnel Through the long sea’s glancing arm, Let them hurry back to Oban, Where the tourist loves to swarm. Here, upon this hump of granite, […]

Isle of Dreams

I recall one whom I knew, a fisherman of the little green island: and I tell this story of Coll here, for it is to me more than the story of a dreaming islander. One night, lying upon the hillock that is called Cnoc-nan-Aingeal, because it is here that St. Colum was wont to hold […]

An Holy Hest

THE VOYAGE OF COLUMBA. I. “Son of Brendan, I have willed it; I will leave this land and go To a land of savage mountains, Where the Borean breezes blow; To a land of rainy torrents, And of barren, treeless isles, Where the winter frowns are lavish, And the summer scantly smiles; I will leave this land of […]

Seven Years Before the Day of Doom

Seachd bliadhna roimh ’n bhràth, Thig muir air Eirinn ré aon tràth, ’S thar Ile ghuirm ghlais, Ach snàmhaidh I Choluim Chléirich! Seven years before that awful day, When time shall be no more, A dreadful deluge shall o’ersweep Hibernia’s mossy shore. The green-clad Isla, too, shall sink; While, with the great and good, Columba’s happier isle […]

Columba of the Graves and Tombs

BEANNACHADH BUANA. DHE beannaich fein mo bhuain, Gach imir, cluan, agus raon, Gach corran cama, cuimir, cruaidh, Gach dias is dual a theid ’s an raoid, Gach dias is dual a theid ’s an raoid. Beannaich gach murn agus mac, Gach mnaoi agus miuchainn maoth, Tiuir iad fo sgiath do neairt, Is tearmaid ann an […]


quia vobis donatum est pro Christo, non solum ut in eum credatis, sed ut etiam pro illo patiamini Phil. i. xxix. Another time that Columcille was in Iona, he gathered the monks to him in the place where he was, and he spake to them and said: “Today I am going,” saith he, “to the […]

Holy in the End

On a time that Columcille was in Iona, the Adversary set on a certain woman of his congregation to bestow on him passing great love, to see if it might come to pass through her that he should entice him to sin with her; for of himself could he not overcome or tempt him, or bring […]