St. Columba, Abbot

Happy Feast Day of St. Columba of Iona – priest, abbot, poet.

Icon of Columba of Iona

Icon of Columba of Iona

St. Columba (Wikipedia, SQPN) was one of the first saints I was aware of. My father had gone to Iona, and had brought back a booklet about the life of the saint. I read it and for some reason it stuck with me. In fact I read it several times. And after a while I started to ask, why is it that we Protestants never hear about saints? The only one you ever hear about is St. Francis, and if he is ever spoken of he is considered a pious friend of animals, and someone with a great love of the poor. After thinking about Columba a while I asked myself what other saints I could think of. I suppose I thought of Joan of Arc. Maybe St. Stephen. 

But as soon as I asked myself the question “why don’t we know about more saints” I knew the answer: they’re too Catholic. But for some reason I liked hearing about Columba.  What about all those other saints? Ignoring the saints, which I was still thinking of as heroic historical figures, would seem to do a disservice both to the saints themselves but it also to us, that we are deprived of their life examples. (At the time I didn’t know about the Church suffering/militant/triumphant).

I didn’t have a good answer for this question, and it was one of the first things that began to dislodge my thinking from Protestantism.

[ Icon found here: ]

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