MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Happy Loch Ness Monster Day

St. Columba & Nessie
According to the Vita Columbae, a hagiography attributed to Adomnán (Abbot of Iona), it was on this day in 565 that Saint Columba set about saving the pagan Picts from the ravages of a “water beast” (aquatilis bestiae):

Now the monster, which before was not so much satiated as made eager for prey, was lying hid in the bottom of the river; but perceiving that the water above was disturbed by him who was crossing, suddenly emerged, and, swimming to the man as he was crossing in the middle of the stream, rushed up with a great roar and open mouth. Then the blessed man looked on, while all who were there, as well the heathen as even the brethren, were stricken with very great terror; and, with his holy hand raised on high, he formed the saving sign of the cross in the empty air, invoked the Name of God, and commanded the fierce monster, saying, ‘Think not to go further, nor touch thou the man. Quick! go back!’ Then the beast, on hearing this voice of the Saint, was terrified and ‘fled backward more rapidly than he came…

Over at the Loch Ness Monster blog there’s plenty of fascinating material for anyone with a Nessie obsession. For example, on the earliest extant manuscript with Adomnán’s account:

In times past, only the privileged and academic few would have been able to gaze upon this most rare of Loch Ness Monster documents but thanks to scanning technology and the Internet, it is now available to view to all. The document is hosted by the Virtual Carolignian Libraries of St. Gall and Reichenau (the former monasteries which held such documents). The actual physical manuscript is held by the Stadtbibliothek in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.

(Hat Tip: James Thorne

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