Colmán of Lindisfarne

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For other uses of this name, see Colman (disambiguation).
Colmán of Lindisfarne
Bishop of Lindisfarne
See Diocese of Lindisfarne
Appointed 661
Term ended resigned 664
Predecessor Saint Finan
Successor Saint Tuda
Personal details
Born c. 605
Died 18 February 675
Denomination Catholic
Feast day 18 February
Venerated in Eastern Orthodoxy Roman Catholicism

Colmán of Lindisfarne (c. 605 – 18 February 675) also known as Saint Colmán was Bishop of Lindisfarne from 661 until 664.[1]


Colman was a native of the west of Ireland and had received his education on Iona.[2] He was probably a nobleman of Canmaicne.[3] Colman succeeded Aidan and Finan as bishop of Lindisfarne.[4] Colman resigned the Bishopric of Lindisfarne after the Synod of Whitby called by King Oswiu of Northumbria decided to calculate Easter using the method of the First Ecumenical Council instead of his preferred Celtic method.

Later tradition states that between the years 665 and 667 St. Colman founded several churches in Scotland before returning to Iona, but there are no seventh-century records of such activity by him. From Iona he sailed for Ireland, settling at Inishbofin, in 668[5] where he founded a monastery.[6] When Colman came to Mayo he brought with him half the relics of Lindisfarne, including bones of St. Aidan, and a part of the true cross which was reputed to be in Mayo Abbey till the Reformation in 1537, when it vanished.[3]

The Saxon monks were industrious, and during the Spring and Summer they tilled the land and grew the corn necessary for the survival of the community. Meanwhile, the Irish visited their kinsfolk on the mainland, and returning to the island in Winter, they helped to consume the fruits of the Saxons' labours. This situation inevitably led to tensions within the community.[7] Disputes arose between the Saxon and Irish monks after a short time. Colman brought his Saxon followers onto the mainland and founded a monastery for them at "Magh Eó" - the Plain of Yew Trees,[2] subsequently known as "Mayo of the Saxons".[5]

His last days were spent on the island of Inishbofin, where he died in 674.[7] His feast is celebrated on 8 August.[5]



  • Powicke, F. Maurice and E. B. Fryde Handbook of British Chronology 2nd. ed. London:Royal Historical Society 1961
  • Walsh, Michael A New Dictionary of Saints: East and West London: Burns & Oats 2007 ISBN 0-86012-438-X

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Lindisfarne
Succeeded by