Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

St. Donnan

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

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.

Never Miss any Updates!

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

Free Catholic PDF's

How to Pray the Rosary, Hail Mary, Our Father, Saints, Prayers, Coloring Books, Novenas, Espanol and more. All FREE to download and faithful to the Magisterium.

Download Now >

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.