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St. Deicolus

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(DICHUIL)

Elder brother of St. Gall, b. in Leinster, Ireland, c. 530; d. at Lure, France, 18 January, 625. Having studied at Bangor he was selected as one of the twelve disciples to accompany St. Columbanus in his missionary enterprise. After a short stay in England he journeyed to Gaul, in 576, and laboured with St. Columbanus in Austrasia and Burgundy. At Luxeuil he was unwearied in his ministrations, and yet was always serene and even joyous. When St. Columbanus was expelled by Thierry, in 610, St. Deicolus, then eighty tears of age, determined to follow his master, but was forced, after a short time, to give up the journey, and settled in a deserted place called Lutre, or Lure (French Jura), in the Diocese of Besançon, to which he had been directed by a swineherd. Till his death, he was thenceforth the apostle of this district, where he was given a little church and a tract of land by Berthelde, widow of Weifar, the lord of Lure. Soon a noble abbey was erected for his many disciples, and the Rule of St. Columbanus was adopted. Numerous miracles are recorded of St. Deicolus, including the suspension of his cloak on a sunbeam and the taming of wild beasts. Clothaire II, King of Burgundy, recognised the virtues of the saint and considerably enriched the Abbey of Lure, also granting St. Deicolus the manor, woods, fisheries, etc. of the town which had grown around the monastery. Feeling his end approaching, St. Deicolus gave over the government of his abbey to Columbanus, one of his young monks, and spent his remaining days in prayer and meditation. His feast is celebrated on 18 January. So revered was his memory that his name (Dichuil), under the slightly disguised form of Deel and Deela, is still borne by most of the children of the Lure district. His Acts were written by a monk of his own monastery in the tenth century.

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