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7.6 Cnoc nan Aingeal

Tha meadhan an eilein na àite ionaltraidh torrach ris an canar am Machair.

Lean an rathad thar na machrach gus an ruig thu geata. Dìreach mus ruig thu an geata air do làimh chli chì thu cnoc beag ris an canar Cnoc nan Aingeal. A rèir Adhamhnan, a sgrìobh eachdraidh beatha Chaluim Chille is e seo far am facas e a’ coinneachadh ris na h-ainglean.

“How a great number of holy angels were seen, coming down from heaven to confer with St Columba.

Likewise, on another occasion, when St Columba was living in Iona, he addressed the assembled brethren, making his point with great emphasis, saying:

‘Today I shall go to the machair on the west coast of our island, and I wish to go alone. No one is to follow me therefore.’

They obeyed and he set out alone as he desired. But one of the brethren, who was an artful scout, took a different route and his himself on top of a little hill that overlooks the machair, for he was eager to find out why the saint had gone out alone. From his vantage point, he could see St Columba standing on a knoll among the fields and praying with his arms spread out towards heaven and his eyes gazing upwards…

For holy angels, the citizens of the heavenly kingdom, were flying down with amazing speed, dressed in white robes, and began to gather around the holy man as he prayed. After they had conversed a little with St Columba, the heavenly crowd – as though they could feel that they were being spied on – quickly returned to the heights of heaven…

Hence today the knoll where St Columba conferred with angels affirms by its very name what took place there, for it is called Cnoc nan Aingel, that is, the angels’ knoll.”

                                                                  Leabhar 3: 16

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