Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

There were apparently three or four saints of this name who flourished about the seventh century.

(1) ST. DONNAN, ABBOT OF EIGG, and ST. DONNAN OF AUCHTERLESS are regarded by both the Bollandists and Dempster as different personages, but there is so much confusion in their chronology and repetition in what is known of them, that it seems more probable that they were identical. Reeves ( Adamnan's Life of St. Columba), moreover, accepts them as the same without discussion. According to Irish annals St. Donnan was a friend and disciple of St. Columba, who followed him from Ireland to Scotland toward the end of the sixth century. Seeking a solitary retreat, he and his companions settled on the island of Eigg, off the west coast of Scotland, then used only to pasture sheep belonging to the queen of the country. Informed of this invasion, the queen ordered that all should forthwith be slain. Her agents, probably a marauding band of Picts, or pirates according to one account, arrived during the celebration of Mass on Easter eve. Being requested to wait until the Sacrifice was concluded, they did so, and then St. Donnan and his fifty-one companions gave themselves up to the sword. This was in 617. Reeves mentions eleven churches dedicated to St. Donnan; in that at Auchterless his pastoral staff was preserved up to the Reformation and is said to have worked miracles. The island of Eigg was still Catholic in 1703 and St. Donnan's memory venerated there (Martin, Journey to the Western Islands, London, 1716).

(2) SON OF LIATH, and nephew and disciple of St. Senan , in whose life it is related that by his uncle's direction he restored to life two boys who had been drowned. This St. Donnan succeeded St. Ciaran of Clonmacnoise as Abbot of Aingin, an island in Lough Ree, on the Shannon (now Hare Island). He flourished about the middle of the sixth century.

(3) ST. DONNAN THE DEACON, son of Beoadh and brother of St. Ciaran. He was a monk in his brother's monastery at Cluain, or Clonmacnoise, in Ireland, in the sixth century.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 15:1-11
1 I want to make quite clear to you, brothers, what ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 118:1-2, 16-17, 28
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh for he is good, for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:36-50
36 One of the Pharisees invited him to a meal. When ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 18th, 2014 Image

St. Joseph of Cupertino
September 18: St. Joseph was born at Cupertino, in the diocese of Nardo in the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter