St Columba's Day



This is the day to remember Columba (521 - 597 A.D.), patron saint of Derry, floods, bookbinder, hackers and copyeditors and much more. He belongs both to Ireland and Scotland. I love this photo of the top part of his statue in Derry, Northern Ireland. It shows #Columba releasing a dove of peace. The name Columba means dove. The Irish nicknamed him Columcille which means dove of the church.

There is a brief summary of Columba's life and legacy in 'Who was St Columba?' on the Derry Heritage Trail website. My previous post about this Irish monk who I remember best as the founder of the Abbey on the tiny island of Iona in Scotland is here, 'St Columba'. Iona became a significant base to spread the gospel in Scotland and northern England. although after arriving in Iona I think Columba himself spent most of the rest of his life on that island.

The following is known as St Columba's Prayer' although as far as I know not written by him. It is more of a poem really.

Sometimes in a lowly cell, in the presence of my God,
I stand and listen.
In the silence of my heart I can hear his will,
When I listen despairing people flock to me,
They expect that I can see the answers,
They ask my advice, they say I am wise.
I answer that nothing can deceive me,
If I stand alone and silently listen.
For I am but a servant who is guided by his king, when I listen.
Sometimes in a lowly cell in the presence of my God
I stand and listen.
Found on Godspace

The Christian poet Malcolm Guite, whose name Malcolm in Gaelic means 'servant of Columba' has a poem for St Columba in a collection in his book 'The Singing Bowl'. In a blog post today 'Columba and my calling' you can hear and read his poem together with his explanation of how he came to write it. It is a moving testimony of a significant step on his move from atheism to Christian faith.


Here is another prayer of St Columba
Be, Lord Jesus,
a bright flame before me,
a guiding star above me,
a smooth path below me,
a kindly shepherd behind me:
today, tonight, and forever.


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