Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 23 September – Saint Adamnan of Iona or St Eunan of Iona (c 628-704)

Saint of the Day – 23 September – Saint Adamnan of Iona or St Eunan of Iona (c 628-704) Relative of Saint Columban. Monk at Drunhome, Donegal, Ireland. Abbot of Iona in 679. President-general of all the Columban houses in Ireland. Hagiographer and Spiritual Writer, Poet, Statesman, Canon Lawyer. Born in c 628 in Drumhome, County Donegal, Ireland and died on 23 September 704 at Iona Abbey of natural causes. Patronages – Donegal, Ireland, County of, Raphoe, Ireland, City of, Raphoe, Ireland, Diocese of. Also known as – Adam, Adamnano, Adomnan, Eunan.

Adamnan was the Author of the Life of Columban, probably written between 697 and 700. This Biography is, by far, the most important surviving work written in early-medieval Scotland and is a vital source for our knowledge of the Picts and an insight into the life of Iona and the early-medieval Gaelic Saint Columban. (His life here:

Adamnan promulgated the Law of Adamnan or “Law of Innocents” (Irish: The Cáin Adomnáin). He also wrote the treatise De Locis Sanctis (i.e. “On Holy Places”), an account of the great Christian holy places and centres of pilgrimage. Adamnan received much of his information for this work, from a Frankish Bishop called Arculf, who had personally visited Egypt, Rome, Constantinople and the Holy Land and visited Iona after his travels.

Adamnan was a descendant of a cousin of Saint Columban, Colmán mac Sétna. He is thought to have been born into a noble family in what is now County Donegal in Ireland, probably as a younger son. Some historians believe he attained his obviously high level of education by studying at Durrow Abbey, one of Ireland’s most important early Christian Monasteries. He became a Monk at a Columban Monastery in Ireland in about 640 and then, at some later point, transferred to Iona Abbey. Opinions again differ about the date of his move to Iona, ranging from about 650, during the Abbacy of Ségéne, to about 670, after the accession of Abbot Failbe.

In 679, Adomnan became the ninth Abbot of Iona Abbey. As Abbot, he was extremely influential in the wider affairs of a land that was still divided between Gaels, Picts, Britons and Angles. He forged especially, strong links with King Aldfrith of Northumbria. He was also influential in partially bringing the Celtic Church into line with the wider body of the Roman Church when he adopted the Roman dating of Easter. This had been agreed in 664 at the Synod of Whitby and the difference, possibly trivial to modern eyes, had led to a rift between the Roman and Celtic Churches.

Adomnan’s most important innovation came in 697. The Synod of Birr, in Ireland, attracted a highly influential gathering of Irish, Dalriadan and Pictish nobles. Adomnan used it to gain widespread agreement to his “Law of Adomnan.” This “Law of Innocents,” set out to guarantee the safety and immunity of various types of non-combatants in warfare. It was a pioneering initiative in Europe and a remarkable achievement for a cleric on the Celtic fringe of the known world. Many see it as the first step in the process that has since led to the Geneva Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Adomnan is probably better known, however, for his Life of St Columban. This was really a Biography or a history of his predecessor of a Century earlier as Abbot of Iona. Rather it was a “hagiography” intended to prove Columban’s saintliness and extol his virtues and achievements. It is perhaps the most important surviving record from the areas which later became Scotland at this time. He also wrote a considerable amount of poetry.

Adomnan died in 704, probably on 23 September, the day now celebrated as his feast day. He was subsequently regarded as a Saint of the Irish and Scottish tradition and is considered to have been one of the mos influential participants in this early period of Irish and Scottish Church.

Along with St Columban, he is joint Patron of the Diocese of Raphoe, which encompasses the bulk of County Donegal in the north-west of Ireland. The Cathedral of St Eunan and St Columban (popularly known as St Eunan’s Cathedral), the Cathedral in that Diocese, is in Letterkenny. In 727 the relics of AdAmnan were brought to Ireland to renew the “Law of Innocents” and they were returned to Iona in 730.

In his native Donegal, Adamnan has given his name to several Churches, Institutions and buildings – all under the Irish version of his name Eunan.


Nuestra Senora de Valvanera / Our Lady of Valvanera, La Rioja, Spain (9th Century) and Memorials of the Saints – 23 September

Nuestra Senora de Valvanera / Our Lady of Valvanera, La Rioja, Spain (9th Century) – 23 September:

This image is a replica of the original which appears to have dated from the ninth century and is preserved in the Royal Abbey Shrine of Our Lady of Valvanera, or Valvanere, in Rioja, jealously guarded by Benedictine Monks. The oldest documents preserved, dates from the thirteenth century and tells how, according to tradition, the original image was found by a thief who later converted and became a hermit.

There was a thief named Nuno Onez, who was a hardened criminal and a “man of licentious life and dedicated to looting.” One day, however, upon hearing the prayer of a man who was to be his next victim, he was touched by Divine grace and repented of his many crimes, turning to the Blessed Virgin Mary to help him change his life. One day while he was praying, an Angel appeared to him to tell him to go to Valvanera and search for an oak that stood out from the rest, with a fountain that gushed at its feet and surrounded by swarms of bees. There, in the branches of a strong and noble oak, in the presence of a fountain of pure and clear water, the trunk of which was overflowing with the sweetness of honey, he found an image of the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Nuno went to the place with a Priest on the following Sunday and found the image, just as the Angel had said. The Statue had probably been hidden there when the Moslems invaded the Iberian Peninsula in the 8th century. In that place, in the last third of the ninth century, he began to build a place of worship that became known as the Chapel of Santo Cristo. Soon there was a small group of hermits who met to pray around this image, men who eventually adopted a regular life inspired by the Rule of Saint Benedict. Thus, this small Shrine is believed to have given rise to the Monastery of Valvanera, where the Virgin is currently venerated.
Valvanera Monastery is surrounded by a forest near the Town of Anguiano in the valley of the Sierra Demand La Rioja. Its name derives from the Latin “Vallis Venaria,” which literally means: “Valley water veins.” The first Abbot was a man named Don Sancho in the year 990.
Our Lady apparently has a preference for oak trees, since this is one of several Statues found in or on an oak tree. On that very spot today is seen the magnificent Church which Alphonsus IV, King of Castile, built in honour of the Mother of God in 1073 and which houses the image.

She, the valiant woman of Scripture, desired her children, her clients and her devotees to share in a spiritual manner, in the strength and the power of this mighty tree, which is certainly a symbol of her.

A painting inside the Sanctuary

St Padre Pio/ Pius of Pietrelcina OFM Cap (1887-1968) (Memorial) Priest, Franciscan Capuchin Friar, Stigmatist, Mystic, Confessor.
Biography here:

St Alfonso Burgos
St Adamnan of Iona/Eunan of Iona (c 628-704) Monk, Abbot
Bl Antonio of Tlaxcala
Bl Bernardina Maria Jablonska
St Cissa of Northumbria
St Constantius of Ancona
Bl Cristobal of Tlaxcala
Bl Emilie Tavernier Gamelin
Bl Francisco de Paula Victor
Bl Guy of Durnes
Bl Helen Duglioli
Bl Juan of Tlaxcala

St Pope Linus (c 10 – c 76) Successor to St Peter. Papacy lasted from c 67 to his death. Among those to have held the position of pope, Peter, Linus and Clement are specifically mentioned in the New Testament. Linus is mentioned in the closing greeting of the Second Epistle to Timothy as being with Paul in Rome near the end of Paul’s life.
About St Pope Linus:

St Peter Acontanto
St Polyxena

St Thecla (1st century) Virgin Martyr, Disciple of St Paul.
Her Life and Death:

Bl William Way
St Xantippa

Martyrs of Syracuse – (4 saints): Group of Christians deported from Syracuse, Sicily by invading Saracens and sent to North Africa where they were tortured and executed for their faith. Martyrs. The names that have survived are Andrew, Antony, John and Peter. c900

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Crispulo Moyano Linares
• Blessed María Josefa del Río Messa
• Blessed Norberto Cembranos de la Verdura
• Blessed Purificación Ximénez y Ximénez
• Blessed Sofía Ximénez y Ximénez del Río
• Blessed Vicente Ballester Far