The ancient Celts described Iona as a “thin place,” where the veil between heaven and earth is lifted, and where one might glimpse the divine.
For centuries pilgrims have traveled to this small island off the West coast of Scotland, leaving behind their chaotic lives to rest, reflect and walk in the footsteps of St. Columba, the Irish missionary who founded a monastery on Iona in 563 AD.
Columba was forced into exile allegedly following a dispute concerning the ownership of a psalter he’d copied in his home county of Donegal. His subsequent missionary work is credited with the spread of Christianity throughout the British Isles.
May 2013 marks the 1,450th anniversary of Columba’s arrival on Iona. His feast day is celebrated on June 9 throughout the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.
The Rev. Nancy Brantingham, a priest from the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota and a long-time student of Celtic Christianity, visited Iona for the first time in October 2012.