- Born: 521
- Height: 1.85 m/6'1"
- Weight: 86 kg/185 lbs.
- Eyes: Brown
- Hair: Rust
- Facial Hair: Closely trimmed beard
- Tattoos: None
- Scars: None
- Died: 598
As a descendent of a high-king Niall, Columba was born a potential heir to the throne. He was sent to a monastery for training, but only so that he would be a more capable king. It was truly a surprise to the royal family when he chose the life of an ecclesiastic.
Quickly adapting to his new life and making use of his familial connections, Columba was soon promoted to abbot. In that capacity he founded forty monasteries. Among his other accomplishments he copied the Gospel Book of Uinniau of Moville without permission. This won him a decision against the act by King Diarmit. And when the same king ordered the death of the Connacht king's son and that son came to Columba for sanctuary, Columba used the situation to ally kings and holies against Diarmit. The resulting Battle of Cuil Dremhne (563) proved to be his undoing. The monastic synod that followed exiled him to Scotland.
Once in exile he confronted King Brude of the Picts about his faith. He was given Iona, on which he founded a monastery. From there he would convert Brude and unify Dalriada under the rule of Aedan. He is said to have met with Kentigern and sent word to the Strat Clut king Riderch that he would die peacefully in bed.
As a member of the most royal house in Ireland he had no time for plebeians such as Ciaran of Clonmacnoise. In general, Columba could be arrogant and imposing. However, the synod of exile nearly excommunicated him, and he seems to have learned a great deal from his time in Scotland. He continued to be an intimidating figure, but away from home he became a focal point of peace and stability throughout northern Britain.
The Age of Saints