Saints and Stones: Raphoe (Rath Bhoth)

The monastery at Raphoe was founded by St. Colmcille (Columba) in the 6th Century. The cathedral in Raphoe is named after St. Eunan (Irish for Adamnan), a kinsman to St. Colmcille who became the first abbot of Raphoe. It was he who renovated the monastery ca.700 A.D. Although Adamnan died in Iona, he spent the last six years of his life in Ireland, and his mother's kindred were the clan that occupied the Raphoe district.

St. Adamnan's biography of Colmcille, the Vita Columbae has been described as the most considerable surviving literary production of the Celtic church of Ireland. Tradition has it that after St. Adamnan's death at Iona in 704 A.D., where he had been 9th abbot in succession to St. Colmcille, his body was interred in the cathedral in Raphoe.

The only remains of the monastery today are two pieces of a sculptured door lintel dating from the 9th-10th Centuries. Much speculation has surrounded the site of the original monastic foundation. Local historian Arthur Spears places the site of the first (wooden) church in the present St. Eunan's cathedral churchyard enclosure.

About Raphoe (Rath Bhoth)

New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia: Diocese of Raphoe
John the Map Surveyor: Raphoe Map
Wikipedia: St. Eunan's Cathedral, Raphoe
Wikipedia: Raphoe History
Wikipedia: Adomnan (Eunan)
Wikipedia: Columba (Colmcille)

Journey to Raphoe (Rath Bhoth)

Raphoe is located southwest of Letterkenny on the R236 near the intersection with the R264 in County Donegal, Ireland.

Map Reference: C2502

Visitors Information

Visitors information may be found at the website. General tourist information may be found at the Go Visit Donegal website.

Additional Photos of Raphoe (Rath Bhoth)

St. Eunan's Cathedral, Raphoe
Tower, St. Eunan's Cathedral, Raphoe
St. Eunan's Cathedral Graveyard, Site of St. Columba's 6th Century Monastery, Raphoe
Raphoe Cathedral Sign
9th Century Sculpture, "Arrest of Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane," St. Eunan's Cathedral, Raphaoe

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