Wednesday 14 June 2017

Saint Colum Cille and Connla the Craftsman

Continuing the series of vignettes from the Life of Saint Colum Cille with the story of Connla the Craftsman. Here Saint Colum Cille uses another of his extraordinary gifts, that of raising the dead to life:


 About this same period he worked a wonderful miracle. There then lived an exceedingly artistic and accomplished man, whose name was Connla. He dwelt in a place known of old as Dim Cruitre (Fort of the Picts), but now called Screen Columcille, or Ardmagilligan. Connla was making a shrine, an exquisite shrine indeed, but, unfortunately, he died before it was completed. When Columcille beheld the unfinished shrine, he greatly desired to see it completed in all its beauty. He was aware, however, there was no artist in Ireland capable of completing the work in all its perfection. An inspiration came into his mind. He went to Connla’s grave, stood before it, and he cried out: “O Connla, in the name of Jesus Christ, arise from the dead ! ”And behold! he that was dead arose full of life and health, and all who were present were filled with awe and amazement and they praised God for His wonderful works. Conla finished the beautiful shrine, and lived to a good old age. 

 The tradesmen and artists of Ireland of that time could not be surpassed by any others in the whole world, and, by God’s blessing, the time is near when the same can be said once more.

The Life of Saint Columcille in In Irish and English by a Redemptorist Father (Dublin, 1907) ,39. 

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