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Columba, Saint.—There are two saints of this name, virgins and martyrs.
St. Columba of Sens, who suffered towards the end of the third century, probably under the Emperor Aurelian. She is said to have been beheaded near a fountain called d'Azon; and the tradition is that her body was left by her murderers on the ground, until it was buried by a man called Aubertus, in thanksgiving for his restoration to sight on his invoking her. A chapel was afterwards built over her relics; and, later on, rose the Abbey of Sens, which at one time was a place of pilgrimage in her honor. She is also said to have been patroness of the parish church of Chevilly in the Diocese of Paris, but her whole history is somewhat legendary.
Butler, Lives of the Saints, IV, 592; Brullée, Histoire de l'Abbaye royale de Sens (1852), containing a rhymed life of the martyr published at Paris in 1660. This book was written partly in the hope of restoring popular devotion to St. Columba.
St. Columba, a Spanish nun, of whom it is related that she was beheaded by the Moors at the monastery of Tabanos in 853. Her body is said to have been thrown into the Guadalquivir, but was rescued by the Christians. Her relics were kept and venerated in Old Castile at two churches, the priory of St. Columba and the royal Abbey of Our Lady at Nagara.