St. Odran of Iona

Odran served as the abbot of the Irish monastery of Tyfarnham in Meath. He later left Ireland with a band of 11 others to accompany the Irish missionary priest Saint Columba to the Scottish island of Iona, where Columba was to found the Iona monastic colony. Not long after their arrival, Odran predicted that he would be the first to die on the island. When he heard this, Columba said, “Whoever makes a request at my burial place shall not get it until he prays to you, as well.” He gave Odran his blessing and left him. Columba soon experienced a vision of angels battling with demons as his friend Odran’s soul was carried to heaven. He learned that Odran had, in fact, just died.

Questions for Reflection:

  • Do you have a friend who would support you as Columba supported Odran? What aspects of your friendship show how close you are?
  • Reflect on the vision that Columba had at the time of Odran’s death. Have you ever felt forces of good and evil working against each other during your life? How have you handled these two forces?