As well as the fourth penitential Bed, one of the Lough Derg boats is named for St Columba. He was born in 521, 1500 years ago this year. Naturally gifted and a born leader, he founded his first monastery at Derry. A dispute over a manuscript of the Psalms that Columba had copied escalated into a battle between his kindred and the high king of the time, with much loss of life. In penance Columba undertook self-exile from Ireland. He sailed to the Island of Iona in the Hebrides and his new monastery there became a fruitful centre of mission for Scotland and beyond. He died in 597, and his feast is kept on 9th of June. I pray:
Columba of the grey eyes,
Colm Cille, Dove of the Church,
monk and poet, penitent and missionary,
bless my way through Lent to Easter. Amen.