Saint Columba, also known as Colm Cille or Colum Cille, was an Irish monk, missionary, and one of the most important figures in the spread of Christianity in Ireland during the 6th century. He is the patron saint of Derry and of the Scottish Highlands.
Columba was born in County Donegal, Ireland in 521 AD, and was educated at the monastic school of Movilla under Saint Finnian. He later founded several monasteries, including the famous Iona Abbey in Scotland, which became a major center of learning and missionary activity.
Columba was also known for his missionary work among the Picts in Scotland, and for his efforts to convert the Anglo-Saxons in England. He is credited with spreading the use of the Celtic cross and the development of a distinctive Celtic Christian art.
Columba died on June 9th, 597 AD, on the island of Iona, Scotland. He was canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church in the 12th century. His feast day is celebrated on June 9th.
Saint Columba is credited with having written many works, including hymns, poems, and religious texts. He is also said to have had the ability to perform miracles, such as healing the sick and casting out demons. One of the most famous stories about Columba is his encounter with the Loch Ness Monster. According to legend, he saved a swimmer from the beast by making the sign of the cross and commanding the monster to leave the area.
In conclusion, Saint Columba was a significant figure in the spread of Christianity in Ireland and Scotland, and his missionary work and writings continue to be influential to this day.