Feast Day: February 18
Born . 605 Ireland
Died 18 February 675 Ireland
Saint Colman was Bishop of Lindisfarne from 661 until 664
England, a disciple of St. Columba. He was born in Connaught, Ireland. At the Synod of Whitby Colman defended the Celtic ecclesiastical practices against St. Eilfrid and St. Agilbert. When King Oswy introduced the Roman rites, Colman refused to accept the decision and led a group of Irish and English monks to the Isle of Innishboffin, near Connaught. In time he moved the English monks to Mayo. Colman was praised by Blessed Alcuin and St. Bede.
Colman was a native of the west of Ireland and had received his education on Iona. He was probably a nobleman of Canmaicne. Colman succeeded Aidan and Finan as bishop of Lindisfarne.Colman resigned the Bishopric of Lindisfarne after the Synod of Whitby called by King Oswiu of Northumbria decided to calculate Easter using the method of the First Ecumenical Council instead of his preferred Celtic method.
Later tradition states that between the years 665 AD and 667 AD, St. Colman founded several churches in Scotland before returning to Iona. However, there are no seventh-century records of such activity by him. From Iona he sailed for Ireland, settling at Inishbofin in 668 AD where he founded a monastery. When Colman came to Mayo he brought with him half the relics of Lindisfarne, including the bones of St. Aidan and a part of the true cross. This was reputed to be in Mayo Abbey until its vanishment during the Reformation in 1537.
Colman was stepping into a landscape that had been decimated by the plague of 664-665 AD. He may have been reviving an earlier church on the island or one in the area in central Connacht where Mag Éo was founded later. On Inishbofin a rift occurred between the Irish and the English ‘because in summer the Irish went off to wander on their own around places they knew instead of assisting at harvest, and then, as winter approached, came back and wanted to share whatever the English monks had gathered.’