I was doing a little reading when I came across the story of St. Columbanus, and he is awesome. Allow me to just list some of cool miracles.
- He destroyed a vat of beer being prepared for a pagan festival by breathing on it.
- To obtain food for a sick brother monk, he cured the wife of the donor.
- Once when he was surrounded by wolves, he simply walked through them.
- At one point he needed a cave for his solitary prayers; a bear lived there; when Columbanus asked, the bear left.
- When he needed water in order to live in the cave, a spring appeared nearby.
- When the Luxeuil Abbey granary ran empty, Columbanus prayed over it and it refilled.
- He multiplied bread and beer for his community.
- He cured several sick monks, who then got straight out of bed to reap the monastery‘s harvest.
- Gave sight to a blind man at Orleans.
- When the monastery needed help in the fields, he tamed a bear, and yoked it to a plough.
So, why haven’t you heard more about this Saint? … Honestly I do not know, but let me tell you more.
He was an Irish missionary notable for founding a number of monasteries around 590 (d. 615) in the Frankish and Lombard kingdoms. His life was recorded by Jonas, an Italian monk of the Columban community at Bobbio (c. 643). [Interesting Read]
He was supposedly a handsome young gentleman, and this exposed him to the shameless temptations of several of the women (I am sure you know the feeling). However, after a long struggle with wanting to be holy, he at last saught council from a religious woman, who advised him thus:
Twelve years ago I fled from the world, and shut myself up in this cell. Hast thou forgotten Samson, David and Solomon, all led astray by the love of women? There is no safety for thee, young man, except in flight. (In part 8 of Jonas’ Work)
He thereupon decided to act on this advice and retire from the world, but not without opposition. His mother, who strove to detain him and stop him from going, cast herself before him on the threshold of the door. But the Saint, was on a mission, and by conquering the feelings of natures he passed over the prostrate form (walked around his mom) and left his home forever.
He gathered twelve companions for his journey—St. Attala, Columbanus the Younger, Cummain, Domgal (Deicolus), Eogain, St. Eunan, St. Gall, Gurgano, Libran, Lua, Sigisbert, and Waldoleno—and together they set sail for France from Ireland. The twelve were received with favor by King Gontram of Burgundy, and soon they made their way to Annegray, where they founded a monastery in an abandoned Roman fortress.
Here they formulated there own religious order and way of life.
The Rule of Saint Columbanus is much shorter than Rule of Saint Benedict, and consists of only ten chapters.
Now despite the supposed quote from this Saint on the picture below, it is said that St. Columbanus prepared for death by retiring to his cave on the mountainside overlooking the Trebbia river, where, according to a tradition, he had dedicated an oratory to Our Lady. Columbanus died at Bobbio on the 21st of November 615.