A Saintly Exchange

A Saintly Exchange
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The Italian Saint in Ireland

In the 4th Century A.D., there lived a Roman Diplomat in England named Calpurnius.  A tribal king from Ireland attacked Roman Britannia taking thousands of prisoners as slaves, one of which was Patrick, son of Calpurnius.  After being enslaved for six years, Patrick managed to escape Ireland and returned to Rome around 410 A.D.  The reunion with his native Italia was not what he had imagined because the once invincible Roman Empire was now in severe decline.   After dedicating his life to serve God as a Catholic Priest, Pope Celestine in 432 ordained him as Bishop Patricius.  Once Bishop, Patrick returned to Ireland to share the Christian Faith to the pagans that had once enslaved him, using the shamrock three-leaf clover to illustrate the nature of the Holy Trinity.  Saint Patrick soon became one of the most celebrated Saints in the Catholic Faith, and Patron Saint to the people of Ireland.

The Irish Saint in Italy

The charming town of Bobbio at the foothills of the Apennines located in the Italian Region of Emilia-Romagna has been an important crossroad for centuries by those in Liguria, Piemonte, and Lombardia travelling towards Piacenza.  The classical legend states that around the year 610 A.D., an Irish Monk named Columbanus settled in Bobbio.  After pondering ways to build a bridge over the River Trebbia, the Devil came offering to build it in one night in exchange for the first soul to cross the bridge.  Columbanus accepted the offer, and as soon as the bridge was completed, before any human soul had the chance, he sent a dog to cross the bridge.  This achievement of good outsmarting evil soon became a celebrated triumph within the town of Bobbio.  Saint Columbanus later went on to construct an Abbey Monastery, which served as one of the most influential resources both spiritually and intellectually throughout the early medieval world.    In July, the town hosts an Irish Festival that takes place to celebrate Saint Columbanus, the Irish Patron Saint of Bobbio, Italy.

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