Columbanus, St

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Columbanus, St (c.543–615). Born in Leinster (Ireland), Columbanus entered religious life as a young man. Fired with missionary zeal, he left the monastery at Bangor c.590 with twelve companions. His request to settle in the wastelands of Burgundy granted, he established monastic centres at Annegray, Luxeuil, and Fontaines. He greatly influenced the spread of monasticism in Gaul, attracting many followers. But adhering to Celtic traditions such as the dating of Easter, he provoked Frankish bishops whose authority he would not recognize, and whilst accepting the primacy of the papal see, he refused to conform with Roman practices. Driven out of Burgundy in 610 by Queen Brunhilde for criticizing her grandson's immorality, Columbanus worked briefly near Bregenz before settling in Lombardy, founding his great monastic centre at Bobbio, where he died. His rule reveals an extremely severe discipline and detailed penal code.

Audrey MacDonald

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Saint Columban

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Saint Columban