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Saint Kenneth and Eilean Choinneich
Eilean Choinneich, Island Kenneth in Loch Leven is a tiny uninhabited island visible from near the mausoleum on the low road from North Ballachulish to Callart. It may well be one of the many places in Scotland named after the sixth century Christian missionary Kenneth. This saint was a contemporary of Columba. He was the son of an Irish bard, he trained to be a priest in Wales, and after a time in Rome and in Ireland he came to Scotland around 562 AD. He was based initially in Iona and accompanied Columba to the mainland to help bring the gospel to people. It is said that he was a man of great spirituality, and that he aspired to live as a hermit on small islands, where he found solace in the company of birds and wild animals. He is remembered for his missionary zeal, for the example he set to non-believers and for the way he preached the gospel with great joy and love. His feast day is October 11th .
There is a modern hymn which begins:
‘How shall they hear, who have not heard news of a Lord who loved and came’.
May we have the zeal and the fire in our souls that inspired these noble Christians to carry the faith to our land.
Lord of all, give us the strength and the courage to live out the gospel by word and example. Increase our faith and let your Spirit influence us so that we better show the life of Jesus to others, in whose name we pray. Amen.