Religion: A Light at lona

From Ireland in his little coracle the missionary-saint, Columba, sailed to the isle of lona in the Inner Hebrides, off Scotland's west coast. There, in 563 A.D., on lona's misty, rainy four square miles, he established a base in the great Celtic Christianizing that swept eastward from Ireland to Britain, across to the Continent — and as far south as Vienna.

lona became holy ground and the burial place of kings. Says Historian A. J. Toynbee: had it not been for one of history's incalculable shifts, lona, instead of Rome, might have been the...

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