The St. Columba Rule – Plus, FREE eBook!

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This week (June 9th) was the annual festival of St. Columba. On this occasion, we offer the St. Columba Rule – a report on the basic form of the type of monastic life that he lived.

Although the rule of St. Columba was probably not written by him, it is generally regarded as an expression of the type of early Irish monastic life that he lived and endorsed.

St. Columba (December 7, 521 – June 9, 597) was an Irish abbot and missionary evangelist, who was credited with the spread of Christianity in what is now Scotland at the beginning of the Hiberno-Scottish mission. He founded the important abbey on Iona, which for centuries became a dominant religious and political institution in the region. He is the patron saint of Derry. He is known today as a Catholic saint and one of Ireland's twelve apostles. (via Wikipedia)

Twelve Church classics
First millennium
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The St. Columba Rule

Found in
The life of the work of St. Columba
by Edward Alexander Cooke, 1888
Available as a FREE eBook
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  • Be alone in a different location near a capital if your conscience isn't ready to be with the crowd.
  • Always be naked in imitation of Christ and the evangelists.
    Whatever you have in something or much of anything, whether clothing, food or drink, let it be at the senior's command and at his disposal, because it is not appropriate for a religious to distinguish property from his own free have brother.
  • Let a quick space with a door lock you in.
  • A couple of religious men to talk to you about God and His will; to visit you on solemn days; to strengthen you in the wills of God and the scriptures.
  • A person too who would speak to you in idle words or about the world; or who mumbles about what he cannot heal or prevent, but who would torture you more should be a tatter between friends and enemies, you should not admit him, but give him your blessing immediately, should he deserve it.
  • Let your servant be a discreet, religious, non-narrative man who should be with you all the time, of course with moderate work, but always ready.
  • Submit to every rule that is devotion.
  • A spirit prepared for red martyrdom.
  • A spirit that is strengthened and steadfast for white martyrdom.
  • Forgiveness from the heart to everyone.
  • Constant prayers for those who worry you.
  • Fervent singing the office for the dead, as if each faithful dead person was a special friend of yours.
  • Hymns for souls to be sung while standing.
    Let your vigils be constant from one evening to the other, under the guidance of another person.
  • Three jobs a day, namely prayers, work and reading.
    The work to be divided into three parts, namely your own work and the work of your place in terms of its real needs; second, your share in the work of the brothers; Finally, to help the neighbors, through instruction or writing or by sewing clothes or whatever they need, ut Dominus, ait, "Non apparebis ante me vacuus".
  • Everything in the right order; Nemo enim coron high school diploma legitimate certaverit.
  • Above all give alms.
  • Don't eat anything until you're hungry.
  • Don't sleep until you feel like it.
  • Only speak on business.
  • Any increase you can think of when eating a legal meal or wearing clothes gives pity to the brothers who want it or to the poor in the same way.
  • The love of God with all your heart and with all your strength.
    The love of your neighbor as yourself.
  • Remain in God's will at all times.
  • Your measure of prayer will be until your tears come;
  • Or your level of work until your tears come;
  • Or your measure of your work or your genuflexions, until your sweat comes often when your tears are not free.
PICTURE CREDIT: St. Columba statue of St. Columba Church on Iona Road, Dublin (Creative Commons license via Wikimedia Commons)

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