Scoto-Irish Druids

From Irish Druids and Old Irish Religions, 1894

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St. Columba, the Culdee, was much the same as St. Patrick in his mission work, and his contests with Druids. He changed water into wine, stilled a storm, purified wells, brought down rain, changed winds, drove the devil out of a milk-pail, and raised the dead to life. All that tradition acknowledged as miraculous in the Druids was attributed equally to Columba as to Patrick.

Adamnan of Iona tells some strange stories of his master. One tale concerns Brochan the Druid. "On a certain day, Brochan, while conversing with the Saint, said to him, 'Tell me, Columba, when do you propose to set sail?' To which the Saint replied, 'I intend to begin my voyage after three days, if God permits me, and preserves my life.' Brochan then said, 'You will not be able, for I will make the winds unfavourable to your voyage, and I will create a great darkness over the sea.'" The wind rose, and the darkness came. But the Saint put off, and "the vessel ran against the wind with extraordinary speed, to the wonder of the large crowd."

The Saint wanted the Druid to release an Irish female captive, which he declined to do. But, says Adamnan, "an angel sent from heaven, striking him severely, has broken in pieces the glass cup which he held in his hand, and from which he was in the act of drinking, and he himself is left half dead." Then he consented to free the Irish girl, and Columba cured him of the wound.

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