Thursday, June 9, 2016

Celebrating the Saints :: St. Colum and the Crane

Today, June 9th, is the traditional feast of St. Columba. He is also known as St. Colum and St. Columcille, or "Colom Cille" which means "Dove of the Church." He is the patron saint of Scotland, Ireland, bookbinders, and against floods.

Our schedule happened to be nearly completely free today (other than an afternoon haircut appointment for our oldest daughter) so this morning I flipped through my Saints Calendar to see whose feast day it was today, pulled out some picture books from this month's book basket, and quickly came up with a simple plan to teach my children more about St. Columba.


by Eva K. Betz

Additional stories about St. Colum found in our collection that I pulled out for the children to browse through and read on their own this week: 

Saint Columba (Saints: Lives and Illuminations) by Ruth Sanderson

(other stories about saints and animals, but not specifically St. Colum) 

St. Columba: The Exiled Monk (The Book of Saints and Heroes) by Andrew Lang

(illuminated manuscript) 

St. Columba: The Exiled Monk found in The Book of Saints and Heroes
Saint Columba found in Saints: Lives and Illuminations


Saint Columcille (Columba) from Fenestrae Fidei
(Across A Dark and Wild Sea and study guide in Catholic Mosaic)

Alone with none but thee, my God,
I journey on my way.
What need I fear when thou art near,
O King of night and day?
More safe am I within thy hand
than if a host should round me stand.

My destined time is known to thee,
and death will keep his hour;
did warriors strong around me throng,
they could not stay his power:
no walls of stone can man defend
when thou thy messenger dost send.

My life I yield to thy decree,
and bow to thy control
in peaceful calm, for from thine arm
no power can wrest my soul.
Could earthly omens e'er appal
a man that heeds the heavenly call?

The child of God can fear no ill,
his chosen dread no foe;
we leave our fate with thee, and wait
thy bidding when to go.
'Tis not from chance our comfort springs.
thou art our trust, O King of kings.

Words: Attributed to Columba (521-597);
translator unknown; text in The Hymnbook, 1971


Top Row: Chiquita • Twinkle Toes  -  Bottom Row: Snuggles • Rose • Bud


It was a challenging craft, especially for the little ones who ended up needing help with each step, but we read Saint Colum and the Crane together we made origami cranes! 

Supplies for each crane: 



The cranes made perfect cupcake toppers for a special feast day treat. 

One box of cake mix made 24 cupcakes. I left 8 out for today (one for my husband and one for each of the kids) and popped the remaining 16 in the freezer to save for a couple more special feast days later this month.

Whipped Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk

Cream room temperature butter with a hand mixer, or the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, until smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until fully incorporated. Beat in vanilla extract. Pour in milk and beat for an additional 3-4 minutes.


Be a bright flame before me, O God
a guiding star above me.
Be a smooth path below me,
a kindly shepherd behind me
today, tonight, and for ever.
Alone with none but you, my God
I journey on my way;
what need I fear when you are near,
O Lord of night and day?
More secure am I within your hand
than if a multitude did round me stand.

Saint Columba, Ora Pro Nobis! 


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