St Columba founded a monastery at Iona that became one of Europe’s leading centers of learning and served as the springboard for the evangelization of Scotland.
The Irish monk was renowned for his sanctity and his life was associated with many miracles. His guidance for monastic life was followed in Scotland, Ireland and Northumbria until it was superseded by the milder Rule of St Benedict.
His biographer Adomnán wrote that in his old age he slept on a bare slab of rock, ate barley and oat cakes, and drank only water.
Adomnán said: “He never let a single hour pass without engaging in prayer or reading or writing or some other occupation. He endured the hardships of fasting and vigils without intermission by day and night; the burden of a single one of his labors would have seemed beyond the powers of man.” [More]