Columba or Colum Cille, to give him his Gaelic name, was of royal stock and born in the townland of Gartan in Co Donegal. He studied at the monastery of Bangor in Co Down and from there he founded several monasteries in Ireland, most notably at Derry and Durrow.
An event happened that led him to leave Ireland, vowing that he would never set foot on Irish soil again. He left Ireland in AD563 and never returned. he settled in Iona, an island of the coast of Scotland where there is still a Christian monastic settlement to this day.
On his deathbed Columba spoke his last words: "I commend you, my dear children, that you keep among you unfeigned love with peace." he blessed the monks and then died.
Columba is important in the history of Europe in that he saw the necessity for education and he and his monks founded monasteries throughout Europe that rekindled study and education after the decline and fall of the Roman empire.