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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Saint Columbanus, Abbot, Nov. 21

Saint Columbanus, Abbot November 21

Columbanus was the greatest of all the Irish missionary-monks that laboured to spread the Gospel on the continent of Europe ; where he founded several monasteries, for which he wrote a monastic rule that came to have a wide observance before that of Saint Benedict was generally accepted. He was born in West Leinster, Ireland, and was excellently skilled in earthly and heavenly learning. In young manhood, being greatly troubled with the arrogance of his own flesh, he determined to bring it into subjection, and therefore fled from the world, to enter upon monastic discipline. Which same he sought in several places, under the direction of various holy men until, from being a learner, he was called to be a teacher. Whereupon, with the permission of Saint Comgall his superior and director, he took twelve monks, and with them passed over into Gaul, in which country, because of barbarian invasions and civil strife, the Church had become much weakened. And there the example of charity, prayer and penance set by these monks, made great impress on the people. * And their good reputation came to the King of Burgundy, who gave them a place in the mountains of the Vosges. Where at Annegray they founded a monastery, consisting mostly of little huts which they built with their own hands, and where they lived in the utmost sternness of life, with scantiness in all things except devotion, so that God often marvelously provided them with necessaries. When this place became too small for the numbers of men that desired to live under the stern rule of the Saint, he founded another monastery, about eight miles distant, at Luxeuil ; and then a third was founded about three miles from Luxeuil at a place called Fontaine, on account of the abundance of water there. These three, and another called Bobbio, were the foundations of Columbanus himself ; but from these four places his followers founded monasteries in France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, to the number of an hundred or more ; which same were centers of religion, industry and learning during many of the dark centuries. * And the holiness and miracles of Columbanus were a light unto all Gaul. But King Theodoric II of Burgundy, whose unclean passions he had rebuked, caused him much trouble, and finally banished him from the country. Whereat he took ship for Ireland, with some of his Irish companions. But a storm drove him back again upon the coast of Gaul, and he therefore betook himself the Theodebert II, King of Austrasia, who graciously welcomed him, and settled him upon the Lake of Constance, where he destroyed the temples of the idols, and contended on all sides against the false worship. Thereupon he was expelled by the inhabitants, and went into Italy to Agilulf, the Arian King of the Lombards, and founded the aforesaid monastery of Bobbio in the Cottian Alps. Where by his writings he contended successfully against the Arians. At length he was worn out by his great labours, and went home to God at a great age, namely, on November 21st, 615.
Saint Columban, Abbot
Antiphon on the Magnificat:
Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee, * and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee (alleluia).
Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord, that the prayers of thy holy Abbot, blessed Columbanus, may commend us unto thee : that we, who have no power of ourselves to help ourselves, may by his advocacy find favour in thy sight, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Antiphon on the Benedictus:
Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me * are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of Hosts, which dwelleth in Mount Sion (alleluia).

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