Patron Saint of Sweden; Switzerland
celebrated
October 16



St. Gall, or Gallus, was an Irishman who became the disciple and companion of St. Columban. Educated in the great Monastery of Bangor under the direction of the holy abbot Comgall, St. Gall left Ireland to accompany St. Columban to France, where they and several others founded the monastery of Annegray and later, Luxeuil, where St. Gall lived for the next twenty years. In 610, St. Columban was driven out of Luexeuil, and so once again, St. Gall joined him and off they went to Austrasia, or what now comprises parts of eastern France, western Germany, and the Netherlands. Persecution seemed to follow them wherever, and in 612 St. Columban retired to Italy.

It was at this juncture where destiny led St. Gall to his hermitage. Intending to accompany St. Columban to Italy, but unable due to an illness, St. gall received a declaration, so-to-speak, from St. Columban that he never again celebrate Mass, as long as Columban was alive. This was due to the unfounded belief that Gallus wasn't ill and was only malingering, but imposed he was, and obeyed he did. He found a spot near Arbon, in Switzerland, near Zurich, on the river Steinach and settled down to become a hermit. Relieved of his sentence upon Columban's death, of which St. Gall learned in a vision, he never-the-less remained in his cell leaving only to preach and instruct.

Once chosen by the monks at Luxeuil, to be their abbot, Gallus declined, having learned, for him, the advantages of poverty in his penitential life and continued the "apostolic labors of the ministry". Gallus died about 646, but the monastery bearing his name, in the town of Saint-Gall, was one of the chief Benedictine Abbeys in Europe for many centuries. A chapel was built on the site of Gall's hermitage, and the monastery's library has now become the cathedral of the diocese of Saint-Gall.


Sources:
One Hundred Saints; A compilation by Bulfinch Press; 1993
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06347a.htm

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