Columba, Abbot of Iona; Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionaries to Britain
June 9 – Columba, Abbot of Iona; Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionaries to Britain –
Columba, born probably in Donegal, Ireland of royal descent studied at Moville under St. Finnian then in Leinster at the monastery of Clonard under another St. Finnian. He was ordained before he was twenty-five and spent the next fifteen years preaching and setting up foundations at Derry, Durrow, and Kells. Possibly because of a family feud which resulted in the death of 3000 and for which he considered himself partly responsible he left Ireland at 42 and landed on the island of Iona off the coast of Scotland. There he built the monastery which was to become world famous. With SS Canice and Comgall he spread the gospel to the Picts; he also developed a monastic rule which many followed until the rule of St. Benedict. He died on Iona and is also known as Colm, Colum and Columcille. Died 597.
Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne –
Aidan was a monk at Iona, an island of the Inner Hebrides in Scotland, when King Oswald of Northumbria requested that he be made bishop of the newly converted Northumbrians. Consecrated in 635, Aidan settled on Lindisfarne, where he established his church, monastery, and see near the royal stronghold of Bamburgh. Under his direction and that of his successors, Lindisfarne flourished as a leading ecclesiastical center until the Danish invasions began in 793.
From Lindisfarne, Aidan evangelized northern England. He founded churches, monasteries, and, on Lindisfarne, a school for the training of ministers, among whom were Chad (first bishop of Lichfield), his brother Cedd (who converted the East Saxons), and Eata, abbot of Melrose. The Anglo-Saxon historian and theologian Bede praised Aidan for his learning, charity, and simplicity of life.