Standard Article

Columba, Saint (c.521–597)

  1. Matthieu Boyd

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0327

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Boyd, M. 2011. Columba, Saint (c.521–597). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


The Irish version of the name is Colum Cille “Dove of the Church” (Calum Cille in Scottish Gaelic). Columba founded the abbey of Iona (an island off the western shore of present-day Scotland) in 563. This became the head of an important monastic federation with an influential presence in Northumbria (e.g. at Lindisfarne) as well as in Ireland (at Derry, Durrow, Kells, etc.) and in what is now Scotland.


  • Columba, saint (c.521–597);
  • colum cille “dove of the church”;
  • Columba, and the abbey of Iona;
  • Columba as peregrinus pro christo “pilgrim for christ”;
  • Irish peregrini