Posted by: anna | October 6, 2009

Ven Adamnan of Iona

Today is the feast of the Venerable Adamnan (Adomnán, Eunan), abbot of Iona, biographer of St. Columba (704).

Adamnan is best known for writing the Life of St Columba of Iona, and in his own right he was instrumental in reconciling the Columban faction to the computus reforms – see Synod of Whitby, 664 and all that. He was also a proponent of the use of the vernacular for both reading the Bible and celebrating the Liturgy. Crumbs! Gaelic Liturgy in the 7th century! Rome did not like it. The most important part of Orthodox Iona’s brief summary is ‘Adamnán had an open mind regarding issues damaging to unity but not essential to the faith. He worked for 15 years to emphasize the essential and downplay the differences.’ Now just how much of this is a very modern take on what Adamnan actually did and wrote, I don’t yet know, but I’m going to find out, and I certainly hope that in his 7th century way this is exactly what he meant.

  • Wikipedia has quite a long article.
  • Heavenfield provides just the sort of resource I’m aiming for – for a few saints, including Adamnan.
  • Orthodox Iona provides a good summary life.

Can’t find an icon – odd, would there not be an icon of Columba with his biographer? How Eunan, a common anglicised form of his name, is derived from Adamnan I have no idea. One day I will have to get to grips with q-Celtic… And I can’t find a troparion either. Yet. So much still to discover as Orthodoxy returns – or rather, grows again – in these islands. I hope that every year as the cycle turns round again, I will have something to add to these entries, bare as they are.

Holy Father Adamnan and all the saints of Iona, pray to God for us.

2 years ago
3 years ago


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