Saint Oran

(St Oran, St Odran)

? - c.563

Irish missionary. St. Oran or Odran was born in Ireland and served as Abbot of Meath. He was one of the twelve who accompanied St. Columba to Scotland, landing in Iona in 563 AD. He is said to have been the first to die on Iona. Legend suggests that the chapel which Columba began to build could not stand until someone was buried in the foundations. Oran consented to being buried alive, although some days later Columba uncovered his face to see his friend one last time and Oran tried to climb out of his grave, saying "There is no Hell as you suppose, nor Heaven that people talk about". Shocked, Columba is said to have quickly obtained more soil to cover the body!

St. Oran's Chapel is the oldest remaining church on Iona. His feast day is on the 27th of October.

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