St. Donan of Ireland
April 17, 2021
St. Donan (d. 617 A.D.), also known as St. Donnán of Eigg, was a prominent Celtic missionary and Gaelic priest. Little is known of his life except that he was likely an Irishman who traveled as a missionary throughout Galloway and northward along the west coast of Scotland. He is thought to have been a contemporary of St. Columba. Donan formed a religious community on the tiny northwest island of Eigg in Scotland. The community grew to fifty-two men. One year, after celebrating the Easter Vigil Mass, they were unexpectedly attacked and martyred either by pirates or a band of Viking raiders. Tradition holds that the community was gathered together and killed in the refectory on the night of April 17, 617. The martyrdom of Christian missionaries at this time was rare, leading many to suspect the attack was instigated by a malicious local queen who viewed St. Donan and his monks as a threat to her power. His feast day is April 17.