Saint Columban (543-615 AD) was an Irish monk and missionary who is known for his extensive travels and contributions to the spread of Christianity throughout Europe. He is the patron saint of motorcyclists and travelers.
Columban was born in Leinster, Ireland in 543 AD and became a monk at an early age. He and twelve companions set out on a mission to spread Christianity throughout Europe in the late 6th century. They traveled through what is now Scotland, England, and France, and eventually settled in the Burgundy region of France.
Columban established several monasteries during his lifetime, including the famous Luxeuil Abbey in the Vosges Mountains of France. He also wrote extensively, and his works include a number of influential writings on monasticism and the spiritual life. He is also known to have had a deep understanding of the natural world and is said to have had the ability to communicate with animals.
Saint Columban had a strong influence on the Irish monastic tradition and helped to shape the development of monasticism in Europe. His Rule, a guide for monastic living, was widely adopted and used by monasteries across the continent.
Despite being exiled twice by the Frankish king, Theodebert II, Columban continued to spread Christianity throughout Europe, even traveling as far as Italy and Switzerland. He died on November 23, 615 AD.
Saint Columban was canonized by the Catholic Church in the early 8th century. His feast day is celebrated on November 23rd and his liturgical memorial is celebrated on November 24th. Today, the legacy of Saint Columban lives on through the many monasteries and other religious institutions that trace their origins back to him.