St. Columba of Tyrdaglas, Abbot

12 December

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Born in Leinster, Ireland; died 548; feast may also be December 13. Saint Columba, son of the Leinster noble named Crimthain, was a disciple of Saint Finnian (f.d. today) and himself became a great master of the spiritual life.

Finnian often had Saint Senach (f.d. March 8) keep an eye on the younger seminarians at Clonard. Once Senach reported back to the holy abbot that he found Columba kneeling in prayer, oblivious to everything about him, with his arms stretched out to heaven and the birds alighting on his shoulders. Finnian replied, "He is the one who will offer the Holy Sacrifice for me at my death."

After founding and governing the monastery of Tyrdaglas on the Shannon in Munster, Saint Columba died of the plague. He is generally described as one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland and is also the co-founder of Clonenagh with Saint Fintan (f.d. February 17) who became its second abbot, and of Iniscaltra (Holy Island in the Shannon) (Benedictines, D'Arcy, Healy, Husenbeth, Montague, Ryan).

Troparion of St Columba of Leinster
Tone 8
O pious Columba, as a disciple of our Father Finnian and a renowned struggler, thou didst shine forth in the ascetic life.
O Ireland's treasure, cease not to pray for those who labour, weeping and repenting, for the salvation of their souls.

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