Bobo of Provence, Hermit

May 22 is the Commemoration of Saint Bobo of Provence, Hermit
“Saint Bobo of Provence (French: Beuvon, Beuve or Bobon, Italian: Bovo or Bobone; died 986) was a Frankish warrior and pilgrim from Noyers (Noghiers). He is known only from the anonymous biography Vita sancti Bobonis. He built a castle on a hill opposite the Muslim fortress of Fraxinet and led the Christians of Provence to victory in battle with the Muslims in an unknown year. During the battle he had a mystical experience and vowed, if victorious, to renounce war and become a pilgrim devoted to the care of orphans and widows. After the loss of his brother, he went on pilgrimage to Rome and died at Voghera.
Bobo’s feast day is May 22 and he is the patron saint of cattle.”

“HE was a gentleman of Provence and a great soldier, the father of the poor, and protector of his country against the Saracens, whom he often defeated when they poured into Provence by sea from Spain and Africa. He afterwards led a penitential contemplative life for many years; and being on a pilgrimage to Rome, died at Voghera, near Pavia, in 985. His name is in great veneration in Provence, and his festival a holiday of precept in most cities in Lombardy. See his exact life in the Acta Sanctorum.”
Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume V: May.
The Lives of the Saints. 1866.
bobo 2
“Bobo was born around 940 of two nobles, Adelfrido and Odelinda. It is said that Bobo was nobilissimis et christianis parentibus natus, that is, born of the most noble and most Christian parents. They had a castle at Noyers-sur-Jabron in the southeastern region of France, which is where Bobo was born. That castle is gone, but each year there is some kind of celebration with cattle on his feast day about where it stood, on account of Bobo’s being the patron saint of cattle…

Bobo was a knight of Provence who helped to conquer Saracen pirates who were invading and raiding the coast. In fact, at one point, the Saracens captured Maïeul, Abbot of Cluny, and demanded a ransom. They pillaged the village, stole goods, raped women and children, and who knows what else.

Bobo is believed to have fought in the Battle of Tourtour in 973. The interesting thing about Bobo is that he did his best fighting with the Gospel, converting a good number of tho Saracens rather than simply killing them.

Bobo responded to violence by means of charity…Bobo was a man of peace. That may be why he ended up becoming a hermit.

An interesting transition, going from the military to the hermitage. Yet I wonder if he didn’t do just as much fighting in that hermitage of his. As one hermit said it, in the hermitage you are faced with the enemy within. In going to the hermitage, he also left behind his family’s wealth for a life of poverty. It must have taken quite some courage and trust.”

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