29 Mar Saint Eustace of Luxeuil, Abbot
Today is the feast day of Saint Eustace of Luxeuil. Ora pro nobis.
Saint Eustace was born about 560 and died about 629. (2)
He was a favourite disciple and monk of Saint Columbanus (f.d. November 21), whom he succeeded as second abbot of Luxeuil in 611. (3) When Columbanus, the founder of Luxeuil, was banished from the Kingdom of Burgundy, on account of his reproving the morals of King Thierry, the exiled abbot recommended his community to choose Eustace as his successor. Subsequently Columbanus settled at Bobbio in Italy. (1)
Three years after his appointment (613), when Clothaire II became ruler of the triple Kingdom of France, the abbot of Luxeuil was commissioned, by royal authority, to proceed to Bobbio for the purpose of recalling Columbanus. The latter, however, setting forth his reasons in a letter to the king, declined to return, but asked that Clothaire would take under his protection the monastery and brethren of Luxeuil.
During the twelve years that followed, under the administration of the abbot Eustace, the monastery continued to acquire renown as a seat of learning and sanctity. Through the royal patronage, its benefices and lands were increased, the king devoting a yearly sum, from his own revenues, towards its support. Eustace and his monks devoted themselves to preaching in remote districts, not yet evangelized, chiefly in the northeastern extremities of Gaul. Their missionary work extended even to Bavaria. Between the monasteries of Luxeuil in France and that of Bobbio in Italy (both founded by St. Columbanus) connection and intercourse seem to have long been kept up. (1)
Eustace was noted for his humility, continual prayer, and fasting. He was succeeded as abbott by Saint Waldebert.
Research by Ed Masters, REGINA Staff