CPL 1131; L. Gougaud, Christianity in Celtic Lands, London 1932. L. Navarra COLUMBANUS ca. 543–615. Irish saint, abbot of Luxeuil and Bobbio. After an adolescence of study, Columbanus entered monastic life and left his native Leinster to enter the school of a vir venerabilis named Sinell. He then embraced the cenobitic life in the monastery of Bangor, which he left at ca. age 50 with the consent of his abbot Comgall to follow the peregrinatio pro Christo. Received ca. 593 at the court of the Austrasian king Childebert II at Metz, he then founded the monastery of Annegray and in the kingdom of Guntram those of Luxeuil and Fontaine, thus initiating in the Vosges region a continental monasticism of Iberian stamp, profoundly different from the monasticism descending from Lérins present in the rest of Burgundy. In ca. 601 Columbanus met as they passed through Arles, Lérins or Gap the Roman missionaries working in Kent, disciples of Augustine of Canterbury see Bede, Hist. II,4: perhaps from them, Columbanus received some of Gregory the Great’s works, which he had requested the previous year, after having read the Regula pastoralis Ep. 1,9, which was sent to him perhaps in November 594, if we accept the identification of Columbanus with the presbyter Columbus Greg. Gt. Ep. V, 17; a presbyter Columbus was also recommended by Gregory to Conon, abbot of Lérins Greg. Gt. Ep. XI, 9, in October 600, i.e. after Gregory had received Columbanus’s letter. Denouncing the corruption of the new king of Burgundy, Theuderic II son of Childebert II, and of his grandmother Brunhilda, Columbanus was banished from the kingdom 610; from Nantes he wrote a letter Ep. 4 to the congregatio of his monks still at Luxeuil. Then, rather than returning to Ireland, Columbanus was accepted by Chlothar II, king of Neustria, and then by Theudebert II, king of Austrasia.
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