(also known as "Columcille") was born of the O'Donnell Clan in Garten,
County Donegal, Ireland, on December 7, 521; he died on 9 June, 597. In
between, he founded monasteries in and evangelized Ireland and
Scotland. The story of his meeting Nessie -- said to have taken place
in A.D. 565 -- was first recorded by Adamnan in "The Life of Saint
Columba" sometime in the late 7th Century. An excerpt:
How an Aquatic Monster was driven off by Virtue of
the Blessed Man's Prayer.
On another occasion also, when the blessed man was living for some days
in the province of the Picts, he was obliged to cross the river Nesa;
and when he reached the bank of the river, he saw some of the
inhabitants burying an unfortunate man, who, according to the account
of those who were burying him, was a short time before seized, as he
was swimming, and bitten most severely by a monster that lived in the
water; his wretched body was, though too late, taken out with a hook,
by those who came to his assistance in a boat.
The blessed man, on hearing this, was so far from being dismayed, that
he directed one of his companions to swim over and row across the coble
that was moored at the farther bank.
And Lugne Mocumin hearing the command of the excellent man, obeyed
without the least delay, taking off all his clothes, except his tunic,
and leaping into the water.
But the monster, which, so far from being satiated, was only roused for
more prey, was lying at the bottom of the stream, and when it felt the
water disturbed above by the man swimming, suddenly rushed out, and,
giving an awful roar, darted after him, with its mouth wide open, as
the man swam in the middle of the stream.
Then the blessed man observing this, raised his holy hand, while all
the rest, brethren as well as strangers, were stupefied with terror,
and, invoking the name of God, formed the saving sign of the cross in
the air, and commanded the ferocious monster, saying, "Thou shalt go no
further, nor touch the man; go back with all speed." Then at the voice
of the saint, the monster was terrified, and fled more quickly than if
it had been pulled back with ropes, though it had just got so near to
Lugne, as he swam, that there was not more than the length of a
spear-staff between the man and the beast.
Then the brethren seeing that the monster had gone back, and that their
comrade Lugne returned to them in the boat safe and sound, were struck
with admiration, and gave glory to God in the blessed man. And even the
barbarous heathens, who were present, were forced by the greatness of
this miracle, which they themselves had seen, to magnify the God of the
The following comes from "Loch Ness in the
Highlands of Scotland":
Once upon a
time, when Saint Columba was traveling through the country of the
Picts, he had to cross the River Ness. When he reached the shore there
was a group of people, Picts and Brethren both, burying an unfortunate
guy who had been bit by a water-monster. Columba ordered one of his
people to swim across the river and get the boat on the other side so
that he might cross. On hearing this, Lugneus Mocumin stripped down to
his tunic and plunged in to the water.
But the monster saw him swimming and charged to the surface to devour
poor Lugneus and everyone who was watching was horrified and hid their
eyes in terror. Everyone except Columba who raised his holy hand and
inscribed the Cross in the empty air. Calling upon the name of God, he
commanded the savage beast, saying: "Go no further! Do not touch the
man! Go back at once!"
The monster drew back as though pulled by ropes and retreated quickly
to the depths of the Loch. Lugneus brought the boat back, unharmed and
everyone was astonished. And the heathen savages who were present were
overcome by the greatness of the miracle which they themselves had
seen, and magnified the God of the Christians.