Thursday, June 27, 2013

St. Eunan

St. Eunan (in Gaelic, Adhamhnán) was born in Donegal around 624 and educated by Columban monks. In 650, he moved to the island of Iona as a novice. In 679, he became the abbot. He returned to Ireland multiple times, keeping an open line of communication between Ireland and Scotland. He adopted the Roman dating of Easter (which caused some controversy within the Iona community) and argued for it in Ireland.

In 697, he wrote the “Law of Adomnan,” a set of laws designed to guarantee the immunity of various non-combatants in warfare. It is also called the “Law of Innocents.” Eunan also worked with the king of Northumbria for the release of 60 men who had been captured in raids.

As a Columban monk, it was only natural that Eunan also wrote a biography of St. Columba, which is considered the most important surviving work in early medieval Scotland. It is still used as a source for medieval Gaelic religious life and that Picts. St. Eunan died on Iona in 704. He is the patron of the Raphoe diocese in Donegal. His feast day is September 23.

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