St. Columbanus

Born in Ireland in 543AD, the same year St. Benedict died at Monte Cassino, St. Columban or Columbanus (from the Latin word meaning “dove”) entered an Irish Monastery. At the age of 40, he received permission to depart with several disciples to preach the gospel on the continent. After establishing monasteries in what is now France, he traveled to Northern Italy where he was given a desolate parcel of land between Milan and Genova. The monastery of Bobbio, which he established there, became the center of orthodox Christianity in Northern Italy, where stubborn remnants of the Arian heresy still lingered. Columbanus wrote on many topics. His monastic rule, much shorter than the rule of St. Benedict, reflects the Celtic monastic tradition and its distinctive customs. The impact of his writings and his work as abbot was great– his disciples are credited with founding over 100 monasteries all over Europe. He died in 615AD at Bobbio, where his relics remain to this day. Biography by Dr. Italy