Also known as
Distant relative of Saint Columba. Monk at Drunhome, Donegal, Ireland. Abbot of Iona in 679. President-general of all the Columban houses in Ireland. Evangelized throughout Ireland.
Adamnan gave sanctuary to Prince Aldfrid when the throne of Northumbria was in dispute following the death of King Oswy. When Aldfrid became king in 686, Aldamnan secured the release of all Irish prisoners taken in the conflict, and visited the monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow.
Persuaded by Saint Ceolfrid, Adamnan adopted the Roman calendar for determining Easter, and then worked for the adoption of many Roman liturgical practices in the Celtic region. This so displeased some brother monks at Iona that from 692 on, Adamnan rarely went there.
Attended the Council of Birr and Synod of Tara in 697 at which he helped enact the Canons of Adamnan, laws that helped protect civilian and clerical populations in areas at war, prohibiting the murder or enslavement of non-combatant women and children. A noted scholar, he wrote the biography Life of Saint Columba in the late 680's, a work that survives today (see links below). He also wrote De locis sanctis (On the Holy Places), a popular description of Palestine based on the notes of and interviews with the Frankish pilgrim bishop Arculf. Renovated and revitalized the monastery of Raphoe, Ireland.
c.628 in Drumhome, County Donegal, Ireland
23 September 704 on Iona; relics brought to various Irish sites during the next century during peacemaking conferences; most destroyed during Danish incursions in 830 and 1030
little Adam (Irish)
diocese of Raphoe, Ireland