Saint Columbanus

St. Columbanus (543 – 615 A.D.) was born in West Leinster, Ireland. He was a noble, well-educated, and handsome man who was pursued by many women. He sought the advice of a pious religious woman who advised him to flee from his temptations for the sake of his soul, which he did, leaving the world to become a monk against the wishes of his family. He embraced the monastic life and excelled in virtue before being called by God to be a preacher in foreign lands. At the age of 40 he left his monastery with a band of twelve fellow monks on an apostolic mission to spread the Gospel throughout Europe. The holiness and zeal of Columbanus and his companions combatted the laxity of the clergy and the negative influence of the barbarian invaders. Columbanus preferred the solitude of nature and would often live withdrawn from others in a nearby cave, which attracted followers to imitate his lifestyle. He founded and served as abbot of several monasteries known for their strictness, writing a monastic rule governing their life which emphasized obedience, silence, poverty, humility, and chastity. The Rule of St. Columbanus was approved by the Council of Mâcon in 627 A.D., but was later superseded by the Rule of St. Benedict. His feast day is celebrated on November 24th.
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