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SAINT COLMAN (d. 676), bishop of Lindisfarne, was probably an Irish monk at Iona. Journeying southwards he became bishop of Lindisfarne in 661, and a favoured friend of Oswio, king of Northumbria. He was at the synod of Whitby in 664, when the great dispute between the Roman and the Celtic parties in the church was considered; as spokesman of the latter party he upheld the Celtic usages, but King Oswio decided against him and his cause was lost. After this event Colman and some monks went to Iona and then to Ireland. He settled on the island of Inishbofin, where he built a monastery and where he died on the 8th of August 676.
Colman must be distinguished from St Colman of Cloyne (c. 522-600), an Irish saint, who became a Christian about 570; and also from another Irishman, St Colman Ela (553-610), a kinsman of St Columba. The word Colman is derived from the Latin columbus, a dove, and the Book of Leinster mentions 209 saints of this name.
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