St Columban

Feast: November 23

This great missionary abbot founded monastic centers in France, Switzerland, and Italy that became centers of evangelization and learning for the whole area. He was a monk of the monastery of Bangor in north Ireland, founded by St. Comgall, one of the notable monastic founders of Ireland.At Bangor, sanctity and scholarship were prized, and St. Columban became a teacher in the monastic school there. He was born in Leinster, and after a youthful struggle he lived at Cluain Inis for a time. After thirty years at Bangor, he received Comgall’s permission to spread the Gospel on the continent of Europe, and taking twelve companions with him he settled in Gaul where the devastation of the barbarian invasions had completely disrupted civil and religious life. Invited by the Merovingian King Childebert, he founded a monastic center in Burgundy at Annegray and two others at Luxeuil and Fontaines. From these three monasteries over two hundred foundations were made, and Columban composed for these monasteries two monastic rules.

With the zeal of a prophet, he attacked the immoral court life of the Merovingian kings, the lax local clergy, and introduced to the continent the Irish penitential system, which became the basis for private confession. Reproving a local king for his immoral life, Columban was expelled from Burgundy, traversed France and Germany, leaving disciples behind to found monasteries, and crossed the Alps to found his most famous monastery at Bobbio in Italy.

He was a firm opponent of Arianism, wrote letters to popes on the religious issues of the day, and left a legacy of writings that deeply influenced the monasticism that came after him.

He impressed his contemporaries as a giant of a man in mind and spirit, who revived religion on the continent and prepared the way for the Carolingian renaissance. He died at Bobbio on November 23, 615, and is buried in the crypt of St. Columban’s Church there.

The St. Columban’s Missionary Society took its name from him, recognizing in him a missionary genius with a uniquely Irish spirit.

Thought for the Day: St. Columban suffered for his outspokenness in the face of moral corruption and public depravity. He was exiled, but his words were remembered years later and many of his warnings heeded. He preached the word of Christ fearlessly and was not afraid of the anger of kings. It is the kind of Christian courage we should have.

From ‘The Catholic One Year Bible’: . . . God called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were less than nothing; now you are God’s own. Once you knew very little of God’s kindness; now your very lives have been changed by it.—1 Peter 2:9-10

Taken from “The One Year Book of Saints” by Rev. Clifford Stevens published by Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., Huntington, IN 46750.

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Start of Islam

Taken from:

What Every American Needs to Know About the Qur’an
-A History of Islam & the United States

By William J. Federer

 In 610 AD, at age 40, Mohammed tried to convert those who came to worship Mecca’s 360 different pagan gods. Mohammed’s “faith” was a mashup of various pieces of the Pagan, Jewish, Zoroastrian and heretical Christian (Arian) religions. In 622 AD, after accumulating only about 150 followers, he was kicked out of Mecca and headed North to Medina.

During his time in Mecca he wrote the initial part of the Quran referred to as the Meccan suras (verses). These suras are considered the “weak” verses and are respectful of Christians and Jews-“people of the Book,”even instructing followers to pray toward the Jewish Temple site in Jerusalem as Solomon did when he dedicated the Temple (1 Kings 8:26-49, 2 Chron. 6:17-39) and as Daniel did while exiled in Babylon. (Daniel 6:10).

If you are in doubt about the revelation I am giving you ask those who read the Bible before you. (Sura 10:94)

His rejection from Mecca and trip to Medina is call The Hijra (“The Flight”) and is Year One in Islam’s calendar. Here he received “MEDINA” or “strong” verses, which canceled out the “weak” verses and advocated coercion, robbing, killing and enslaving of infidels. Here is where Mohammed migrated from being a religious leader to a political leader and then to a military leader. Here he changed the direction of bowing away from the Jewish Temple site in Jerusalem to Mecca.

Mohammed made the new direction of prayer toward the black meteorite stone in the square building in Mecca called the Ka’aba, which pagan Arabs had previously bowed to for centuries in association with the moon god, believing the stone to have fallen from the sky:

Allah’s Apostle prayed facing Baitul-Maqdis for sixteen or seventeen months but he loved to face the Ka’ba (at Mecca) so Allah revealed: “Verily, We have seen the turning of your face to the heaven!” (Sura 2:144)

In Medina he made a treaty with the pagan and three Jewish tribes, increased his followers, became a political leader and helped drive out the Meccans’ who were threatening the city’s peace.

In 624, Mohammed became a military leader. With just 300 men he defeated 1,000 Meccans guarding their caravan at Badr. He found reason to void his treaty with Medina’s first Jewish tribe, Banu Qaynuqa, drove them out and confiscated their property. This gave rise to the concept in Islam that when you are weak you make treaties until you are strong enough to disregard them.

Islam is not just a religion. In the same way the word “light” has 3 meanings: a NOUN -a source of illumination; an ADJECTIVE -the opposite of heavy or dark; and a VERB -to ignite, ie. light a match or a stove, similarly the word “Islam” has 3 meanings: a RELIGIOUS system, a POLITICAL system and a MILITARY system.

 Islam is not a religion of redemption. There is no room for the Cross and the Resurrection…Redemption is completely absent…The God of the Koran is outside of the world, a God who is only Majesty, never Emmanuel, God-with-us…Not only the theology, but also the anthropology of Islam is very distant from Christianity.

– Pope John Paul, Crossing the Threshold of Hope (1995):

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