Saint Columba (kəlŭm´bə), or Saint Columcille (kŏl´əmkĬl´) [Irish,=dove of the church], 521–97, Irish missionary to Scotland, called the Apostle of Caledonia. A prince of the O'Donnells of Donegal, he was educated at Moville and Clonard. In Ireland he founded the monastery schools of Derry (545), Durrow (553), and Kells (c.554). In 563, Columba and several companions sailed to Scotland. They landed at Iona, where they established their center and went about the Highlands and N Lowlands preaching. Before Columba's death N Scotland was almost entirely Christianized. St. Columba ranks with St. Patrick and St. Bridget as one of the three patron saints of the Irish; he is supposedly buried with them at Downpatrick. Feast: June 9.
See H. De Blacam, The Saints of Ireland (1942); C. H. Lawrence, Medieval Monasticism (1984).