Saint Adamnan: Life of Saint Columba, Founder of Hy
Book I: Of His Prophetic Revelations
Chapter III: Prophecy of Saint Columba regarding Ernene, son of Crasen
On another occasion, while the blessed man was residing for a few months in the midland part of Hibernia, when founding by divine inspiration his monastery, which in the Scotic tongue is called Dair-mag (Durrow), was pleased to pay a visit to the brethren who dwelt in Saint Ceran's monastery, Clon (Clonmacnoise). As soon as it was known that he was near, all flocked from their little grange farms near the monastery, and, along with those who were within it, ranged themselves, with enthusiasm, under the abbot Alither; then advancing beyond the enclosure of the monastery, they went out as one man to meet Saint Columba, as if he were an angel of the Lord. Humbly bowing down, with their faces to the ground, in his presence, they kissed him most reverently, and singing hymns of praise as they went they conducted him with all honour to the Church. Over the saint, as he walked, a canopy made of wood was supported by four men walking by his side, lest the holy abbot, Saint Columba, should be troubled by the crowd of brethren pressing upon him. At that very time, a boy attached to the monastery, who was mean in dress and look, and hitherto had not stood well in the opinions of the seniors, concealing himself as well as he could, came forward stealthily, that he might touch unperceived even the hem of the cloak which the blessed man wore, without his feeling or knowing it. This, however, did not escape the saint, for he knew with the eyes of his soul what he could not see taking place behind him with the eyes of his body. Stopping therefore suddenly, and putting out his hand behind him, he seized the boy by the neck, and bringing him round set him before his face. The crowd of bystanders cried out: "Let him go, let him go: why do you touch that unfortunate and naughty boy?" But the saint solemnly uttered these prophetic words from his pure heart: "Suffer it to be so now, brethren;" then turning to the boy, who was in the greatest terror, he said, "My son, open thy mouth, and put out thy tongue." The boy did as he was bid, and in great alarm opened his mouth and put out his tongue: the saint extended to it his holy hand, and after carefully blessing it pronounced his prophecy in the following words: "Though this boy appears to you now very contemptible and worthless, let no one on that account despise him. For from this hour, not only will he not displease you, but he will give you every satisfaction; from day to day he shall advance by degrees in good conduct, and in the virtues of the soul; from this day, wisdom and prudence shall be more and more increased in him, and great shall be his progress in this your community: his tongue also shall receive from God the gift of both wholesome doctrine and eloquence." This was Ernene, son of Crasen, who was afterwards famous and most highly honoured in all the churches of Scotia (Ireland). He himself told all these words which were prophesied regarding himself, as written above, to the abbot Segine, in the attentive hearing of my predecessor Failbe, who was present at the time with Segine, and from whose lips I myself have come to know all that I have stated. But during this short time that the saint was a guest in the monastery of Clon, there were many other things also which he prophesied by the revelation of the Holy Ghost; as, for instance, about the discord which arose a long time after among the churches of Scotia (Ireland), on account of the difference with regard to the Easter Feast; and about some visits of angels distinctly made to himself, certain places within the enclosure of the monastery being at that time thus resorted to by the angels.
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