Pilgrimages of Europe: Iona, Scotland (1995)

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Iona (Scottish Gaelic: I Chaluim Chille) is a small island in the Inner Hebrides off the western coast of Scotland. It was a centre of Irish monasticism for four centuries and is today renowned for its tranquility and natural beauty. It is a popular tourist destination. Its modern Gaelic name means "Iona of (Saint) Columba" (formerly anglicised "Icolmkill"). Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iona
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Pilgrimages are as old as mankind. The mystical and spiritual nature of a pilgrimage holds an eternal, mythic appeal to the imagination of many people. Every year millions of pilgrims of all nationalities, young and old, set out on these voyages of the soul.


A small island off the western coast of Scotland was of vital importance to the earliest years of the Christianization of England and Northern Europe. An Irish monk named Columba came to Iona in the 6th century to spread the Christian faith. Right up to the present day, many pilgrims have followed and continue to follow in Columba’s footsteps. The journey to Iona is a long one. Since there is no direct connection by boat from the mainland, one must travel via the island of Mull. As Iona comes into view, one can also see the outline of the old abbey, which is where the present community of Iona is housed. Hundreds of people stay at the abbey during their visit, and it is an ever-changing population, an ecumenical community. Most of the guests stay here for a week, to study, to talk and to pray and meditate amidst the peace and quiet of the island.

Source: Janson Media


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