563 – St Columba Lands At Iona
Despite his name meaning ‘dove’, Columba was banished from Ireland in 563, aged forty two, for leading battles against greedy Irish monasteries. With twelve supporters he sailed in a curragh to Iona, the island lying a kilometre south-west of the end of Mull.
He crowned his fellow Irishman Aidan King of Dalriada, and in return Aidan granted Iona to Columba.
He established a monastery from which his style of worship, disciplined while kindly, spread successfully out across the mainland. The strict regime of prayer, religious study and self-denial he practised became the Celtic way for future monks.
In 597 Columba died on his island, where the religious community still support his Celtic spiritual values today.