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Religion Bulletin: St. Columba confronts Loch Ness ‘water beast’

K. William Boyer
Washington County News

RELIGIOUS EVENTS IN HISTORY

On Aug. 22, 565, St. Columba, a Celtic missionary and abbot, became the first recorded observer of the famous Loch Ness Monster. According to his biographer, Adomnan in the “Life of St. Columba,” the saint encountered the creature after he sent a follower to swim across the River Ness (located in the vicinity of Loch Ness). The “water beast” approached the swimmer, but Columba intervened by making the sign of the cross and said, “Go no further. Do not touch the man. Go back at once.” Upon hearing Columba’s words, the “water beast” stopped as if it had been “pulled back with ropes” and fled, according to Adomnan, who wrote of the encounter about a century after the reported encounter. St. Columba was later credited with spreading Christianity throughout Scotland. Columba later became one of the three patron saints of Ireland, after Patrick and Brigid of Kildare.

RELIGION CALENDAR

Sept. 1: Pitru Paksha (Hindu)

Sept. 11: Coptic New Year (Coptic Orthodox Christian)

Sept. 18: Rosh Hashanah (Jewish)

Sept. 21: Mabon (Pagan and Wiccan)

Sept. 28: Yom Kippur (Jewish)

Oct. 2: Sukkot (Jewish)

Oct. 7: Arbaeen (Islamic)

Oct. 17: Navratri (Hindu)

Oct. 19: Birthday of the Bab (Baha’i)

Oct. 25: Dussehra (Hindu)

Oct. 28: Mawlid (Islamic)

Oct. 31: Samhain (Pagan and Wiccan)

GOOD BOOK?

“Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” by Ariel Sabar

“Veritas” is a tale of fierce intellectual rivalries at the highest levels of academia, a piercing psychological portrait of a disillusioned college dropout whose life had reached a breaking point, and a tragedy about a brilliant scholar handed a piece of scripture that embodied her greatest hopes for Christianity - but forced a reckoning with fundamental questions about the nature of truth and the line between reason and faith.

St. Columba, a Celtic missionary and abbot, became the first recorded observer of the famous Loch Ness monster in 565.

THE WORD

talisman: An object believed to have magical powers.

RELIGION AROUND THE WORLD

According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Gibraltar is:

- Roman Catholic: 72.1%

- Church of England: 7.7%

- Other Christian: 3.8%

- Muslim: 3.6%

- Jewish: 2.4%

- Hindu: 2%

- Other: 1.1%

- None: 7.1%

- Unspecified: 0.1%