Colman was an Iona monk and an Irishman. He was bishop at Lindisfarne from 661 to 664, following Aidan and Finan. He spoke for the Celtic party at the Synod of Whitby, declaring their loyalty to John the apostle, who had ruled that Easter continue to be calculated in accord with Jewish reckoning. It had always been so, and Columba (see June 9th) and others before and since had not seen fit to question this. Afterwards Colman seems to have been genuinely surprised by the Synod’s outcome, expecting only to have, yet again, to explain the usual difficulties.
He withdrew to Iona, with a large company of English and Irish monks, including about thirty native to Northumbria who chose to go rather than implement the Synod’s decision. Even Bede refers to Colman as ‘a man of innate prudence and good sense.’ Some years later he returned with the monks to his home in the west of Ireland and founded a monastery on Inis Bofin, off the west coast of Ireland, in 667. The Northumbrians settled well, but complained that each summer the Irish monks travelled the countryside and were not available to bring in the harvest; yet they were content not to travel in the winter! Colman eventually built a separate monastery for the Northumbrian monks in Mayo on the Irish mainland, and it became a famous college. Colman died during the 670s, but the exact year is in question.
Show us, dear Lord, how to live in peace with everyone, especially our sisters and brothers in Christ. Grant us Your wisdom that our lives may be ordered to please You and not ourselves. Instil in us a love of learning, so that all our decisions may be based on knowledge and truth, and not on our own whims and fancies. We seek to bring praise to You in Jesus name. Amen.