Columbanus was born in Ireland in the middle of the 6th century. He left Ireland and went to France where he founded several monasteries. His was a very strict rule and it had to be dropped eventually as it was too tough even for these times.
For some reason he was sent into exile and went to Italy where he founded a monastery at Bobbio. Columbanus was renowned for his holiness and spiritual teaching.
In today's office of readings for the whole church we have a reading from the Instructions of Columbanus, a set of writings he did on the spiritual life. He speaks of our likeness to Christ, where this likeness comes from and how we should try to preserve it.
In the reading for the Irish church, which is taken from a letter of Columbanus, he states, "This is the truth of the gospel, that the true disciple of Christ crucified should follow him with the cross."
In these days in Ireland we shall do well to remember his words.
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