Saints of the Order of Saint Benedict – Saint Deicolus, Abbot

illustration of Saint Deicolus, Abbot, from the book 'Saints of the Order of Saint Benedict', designed by Father Amandus LiebhaberSaint Deicolus was a friend of Saint Columban, and travelled with him from Ireland to Gaul, where they lived together at Luxeuil; here they were once reduced to great straits for want of water; and as they went about to seek some, Saint Deicolus was so overcome by thirst and weakness that he could go no further, and was unable even to hold his staff. He besought Columban to excuse him from continuing his journey, and the Saint consented on condition that if he reached convalescence he should return to Luxeuil. Saint Columban and his companions travelled through Burgundy, leaving Deicolus in an almost hopeless state, and the thirst which so tormented him could find no alleviation, for there was no stream or river at hand, nor did any rain appear. The Saint raised his eyes to God, “O, most compassionate Lord,” he said, “who hast preserved my life, be pleased to quench this terrible thirst; hear, for Thy great love, the prayer of a poor pilgrim.” He spoke, and suddenly a limpid stream appeared; and this fountain remains to the present day. Deicolus came upon a man taking care of some swine; the Saint asked him if he could guide him to some church, and on hearing that the poor man dare not leave his charge, he told him that the swine should all gather round the staff which he placed in the ground, and that not one of them should leave the spot. The swineherd believed the word of Saint Deicolus and guided him to the village where the church stood. Deicolus after this time lived a life of contemplation and prayer, and when the Sacristan of the church died, the Saint, in answer to the earnest entreaties of the poor man’s wife, raised him from the dead. He afterwards founded the Monastery of Sutra, and so great was the fame of his sanctity and his numerous miracles, that numbers hastened to fill it. This community was greatly enriched by King Clothaire. Here Saint Deicolus died, some time in the sixth century after the Birth of Christ.

– text and illustration taken from Saints of the Order of Saint Benedict by Father Aegedius Ranbeck, O.S.B.