Colman an Irish missionary of the 7th century. Colman was the third ecclesiastic who by royal authority had been called from Ireland to preside over the see of Lindisfarne, in North Britain. During his and his predecessors' superintendency, the churches in that country which had been devastated by Penda, the last Pagan king, were restored, and were enjoying great temporal and spiritual prosperity. But about A.D. 662, the Anglo-Saxon clergy, who had deserted these churches in the hour of danger, wished to return and to share them at least with the Irish and Ionian missionaries. But here a difficulty arose. The English Catholic Church, as recently reconstructed by Augustine, and that of the Scoto-Irish, were found to be so dissimilar in doctrine and usage that they could not conduct worship in the same edifices. The differences were numerous; among them were the question of the Three Chapters (q.v.), the tonsure, and the time of keeping Easter. An appeal to the pope was useless, for long before he had put forth his decision; but the Irish Church and those of Iona had not complied with it. Oswy, the king, required the whole to be presented to him for adjustment. The discussion was in Irish and Anglo-Saxon, by Colman and Wilfred, the venerable Ceada, bishop of the East Angles, acting as interpreter. When the arguments had ended, the king and a majority of the assembly decided for Wilfred and the Anglo-Catholics (see Bede, lib. 3. c. 25). This decision, however, was far from effecting peace. The dominant party soon became intolerant, and required the clergy of Colman to be reordained; that their churches, previous to the performance of Catholic worship, "should be sprinkled with exorcised water (Usher, vol. 6, p. 274); and also that they should observe many new rites and usages to which they had been entire strangers. To all of these, like the Welsh Christians before them, Colman and the most of his clergy refused to submit, and quietly relinquished in North Britain the churches which they had built or had restored, and in which they had successfully preached for nearly seventy years. Colman, now returned to Ireland, taking with him all his own, countrymen and thirty-six ecclesiastics or students who adhered to his teaching. For the latter he established on the east of the island an institution long known as "Mayo of the English," to which Bede says many flocked from England, that they might "gain knowledge and lead a holy life." But, notwithstanding his success in his new enterprise, he could not recover himself from his former defeat; he went abroad, traveled on the Continent, visited the East, and died about A.D. 676. See Bede, Hist. Eccl., l. c., and also 4:4; Moore, History of Ireland (Am. edit., Philad.).

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