This week marks the death of Columbanus, a Christ-follower used by God to nurture education and establish the Christian foundations of Europe. Born in 543, Columbanus grew up in an Ireland that had become Christian under the influence of missionaries such as St. Patrick. Despite his mother’s pleas, he left home to join a monastery and, after his own time of learning, joined a group of companions to preach the Gospel.
Landing on the Continent, he preached to locals, squabbled with nearby bishops over the date of Easter, and established a series of educational centers in monasteries across Burgundy and northern Italy. Columbanus believed that education, especially the study of Holy Scripture, offered victory over fleshly desires.
He died in the year 615 at his monastery at Bobbio, a center for medieval education with one of the best early libraries.
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