COLUMBA, St. (‘Colm Cille’). b. County Donegal, Ireland, 521; d. Iona, Scotland, 597. Born in the north-west of Ireland, he was trained and educated in Ireland, emigrating to Iona in 563 where he founded a monastery and remained for the rest of his life. The name ‘Colm Cille’ means ‘Dove of the Church’, which is latinised as ‘Columba’.
St Adomnán (d. 704), ninth abbot of Iona and Columba’s biographer, stated that Columba had written a book of hymns for the week (Hymnorum liber septimaniorum) which, unfortunately, has not survived. It suggests the singing of a weekly cycle of hymns on Iona, paralleling Caesarius of Arles’s Cursus hymnorum. This idea is supported by the Preface to the hymn...
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