St. Columban’s Day, 2019.

As we celebrate our Feastday today, let us be united in the spirit of St. Columban who challenged us: to let Christ paint his image in us with his words: My peace I give you, my peace I leave with you. But the knowledge that peace is good is of no benefit to us if we do not practice it. (St. Columban).

Pope Benedict in 2008 said that Columban was a man of great culture — he also wrote poetry in Latin and a grammar book — he proved himself to be rich in gifts of grace. He was a tireless builder of monasteries and a great preacher who spent all his energy to nourish the Christian roots of Europe, which was being born. With his spiritual energy and faith, his love for God and for his neighbour, he truly became one of the fathers of Europe: He shows us even today the roots from which our Europe can be reborn.

Saint Columban was one of the many Irish monks who contributed to the re-evangelization of Europe in the early Middle Ages. Columban made his profession in Bangor and was ordained a priest. At the age of fifty, he left the monastery to begin missionary work in Europe where he founded many monasteries. At Bobbio, where he established a great monastic center, Columban worked for the conversion of the Arian Lombards and the restoration of unity with the Bishop of Rome. It was there that he died, leaving behind not only the example of an austere monastic life, but also a wealth of writings which shaped the monastic culture of the Middle Ages and thus nourished the Christian roots of Europe.

Let us be Christ’s, not our own.


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