Ordained at Dunadd by his cousin Colum Cille (St. Columba) in what was probably
the first Christian coronation in Britain, Aiden was a descendant of Fergus Mor
and did much to consolidate the kingdom of Dalriada.
This small barren island, a boat ride from Mull, has long been a place of pilgrimage and veneration. 360 crosses
once dotted the island, a few of which remain. St Columba from Ireland landed here in AD 563 and founded a monastery
from which missionaries went to convert the rest of Scotland. This monastery was destroyed by the Vikings, the
restored abbey being a twelfth century Benedictine foundation. One of the most beautiful surviving Celtic manuscripts,
The Book of Kells, was begun and perhaps completed at this monastery. St Columba died AD 597, but later the monk Aiden
set out from Iona to begin another monastic tradition at Lindisfarne in Nortumbria. Many kings of Scotland, including
Macbeth and Duncan, were buried on the island, which remains an important religious centre to this day.