St. Columbanus (543 - 615) was a well-educated, handsome Irishman who was sought after by many local women. A woman religious advised him to flee from these temptations, which he did, leaving the world to become a celebrated monk. At the age of 40 he left his monastery with a band of fellow monks on an apostolic mission to spread the Gospel throughout Europe. He founded several European monasteries known for their strictness. He left writings and a monastic Rule emphasizing obedience, silence, poverty, humility, and chastity. The Rule of St. Columbanus was approved by the Council of Mâcon in 627, but was later superseded by the Rule of St. Benedict. His feast day is celebrated on November 24th in Ireland and by the Benedictines, and on the 23rd in the rest of the Church.
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