Little Bits of History


Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 22, 2012

St. Columba

August 22, 565: St. Columba reputedly sends a monster away. He was born on December 7, 521 in Ireland. He is also known as Colum Cille in Old Irish which means dove of the Church. He is also called Colm Cille (Irish) and Calum Cille (Scottish Gaelic) and Kolban or Kolbjørn (Old Norse). He was one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland and worked as a missionary in Ireland and Scotland. In 560, while studying under St. Finnian, Columba copied a manuscript with the intention of keeping it for himself. Finnian disputed Columba’s right to keep the psalter and the disagreement led to the Battle of Cúl Dreimhne in 561. Several men were killed and Columba was nearly excommunicated. Instead, he was sent to Scotland.

There, he ministered to the Picts, a group of Late Iron Age and Early Medieval people in eastern and northern Scotland. He arrived in Scotland with twelve followers. He provided educational opportunities as his was the only center of literacy in the region. He also grew in stature as a religious man and a settler of disputes among the tribes. Because of his leadership skills and friendship with King Breidi (a pagan), Columba was able to influence local politics even though he was unsuccessful as converting the King to Christianity.

According to a biography of the saint’s life (in three volumes) written by Adomnán (who died in 704), on this day Columba came across a group of Picts near Ness River burying a man who had been killed by a monster. Another swimmer was in peril and Columba saved him from certain death at the hands of the same monster by using the sign of the Cross (a religious ritual) and saying “Thou shalt go no further, nor touch the man; go back with all speed.” The beast fled and the remaining Picts glorified Columba. This is said to be the first reference to the Loch Ness monster.

The Loch Ness monster reportedly lives in Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. The description of the beast varies with each report. The wider world was made aware of Nessie in 1933 when George Spicer and his wife claimed to have seen the monster when it ran in front of their car. The next month, another man, Arthur Grant, claimed to have nearly hit the creature while riding his motorcycle. Many more sightings followed. Even with the advent of ever-present cell phones with photo capability, no one has ever gotten a clear picture of the monster.

The Loch Ness Monster is the world-famous creature said to inhabit Loch Ness in northern Scotland. The search for the monster has probably consumed more money, time, and newspaper space than attempts to prove the existence or otherwise of UFOs. – Peter D. Jeans

The Loch Ness monster doesn’t exist either. Loch Ness is just not big enough to hide a thirty foot amphibian or reptile for hundreds of years. – Brien Jones

All types of high-tech underwater contraptions have gone in after the Loch Ness Monster, but no one can find her … Some people in Inverness aren’t keen on collaring the monster, and you can’t blame them: An old prophecy predicts a violent end for Inverness if the monster is ever captured. – Danforth Prince

Alone with none but Thee, my God, I journey on my way; what need I fear when Thou art near, Oh King of night and day? More safe am I within Thy hand than if a host did round me stand. – St. Columba, attributed

Also on this day:

“Excuse My Dust” – In 1893, Dorothy Parker is born.
The Temperature at which Paper Burns – In 1920, Ray Bradbury was born.
America’s Cup – In 1851, the first America’s Cup race is run.

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