St Columbanus (543 - 615):
Missionary and Monastic founder
Columbanus was born in Leinster and studied under Comgall in the monastery at Bangor, County Down. He went to Britain and then to France as a missionary and founded monasteries at Annegray, Luxeuil and Fontaine. He drew up a Rule for his monks which was approved by the Council of Macon in 627 but it was superseded by the Benedictine Rule. He was expelled from Gaul by Theodoric II of Burgundy because Columbanus had criticised the immorality of his court. He travelled through Switzerland and founded a monastery at Bobbio in Italy, where he died. His writings including his Rule, letters, poems and sermons, are in Latin. His feast-day is celebrated on 21st November.