St Eusebius of St Gall

January 31 is the Commemoration of St Eusebius of St Gall

“St Eusebius is also referred to as St Euchadius or Euchodius, all probably from the Gaelic ‘Eochaidh’. He flourished in the 9th century and it is thought that he was born in the early part of that century. Our Saint is written of by a number of hagiographers, two of whom, the authorative chroniclers of St Gall, Radpert and Ekkehard, state that our Saint was an Irishman. Radpert refers to him as ‘Scotigena’, meaning, ‘Irish born’, as ‘Scotus’ meant ‘Irish’ and not Scottish in those times, while Ekkehard says he was a countryman of St Gall. He was one of a great swarm of holy Irish monks and religious who emigrated to the Continent, mainly to France, Germany and Switzerland in the early Middle Ages. About 841, according to some accounts, he first went to France and then on to Switzerland, where he joined the monastery of St Gall as a monk. After some years there, he left about 854 to lead the life of a recluse near St Gall at Mount St Victor where he had himself shut up in a closed anchoritic house.
St Eusebius then devoted his life to exercises of piety and extraordinary mortifications. He was granted heavenly visions and gifts of prophecy and some say he wrought miracles. He foretold the life of St Iso(n) before his birth. He became an edification to all in the region. Many came to consult him for spiritual advice. King Charles the Bald admired him greatly and visited him at intervals. The King built a monastery, particularly for Irish pilgrims, in honour of our Saint at Mount St Victor and donated it with some lands to our Saint, who asked that the whole foundation be made a dependency of the monastery of St Gall, which King Charles did, granting a royal Charter.
St Eusebius remained in his seclusion for 30 years and died on the 30th of January, 884. Some say he was martyred by local people after he had admonished them for evil conduct. Some very authorative writers, such as Radpert, make no mention of a martyrdom and state that he simply died. This is more likely to be the authentic version.
As happened with many holy Irishmen, who lived mostly abroad and died there, many Irish Calendrists omit mention of our Saint. However, it is fortunate that the people among whom he lived for many years, as well as the country in which he died, should retain a grateful sense of his faithful services to religion, and of his holy personal sanctity, as to keep in honoured remembrance, his name and virtues. His feastday was celebrated at St Gall down through the ages.”

“Died 884; Montague shows his feast on January 30. The Irishman Eusebius, called Scotigena by Ratpert of Saint Gall, was a pilgrim who took the Benedictine habit in the Swiss abbey of Saint Gall.
St Gall Abbey
Ekkehard, another chronicler of the abbey, reports that Eusebius was from Ireland. Soon after his arrival in Switzerland, Eusebius opted for the life of solitude as a hermit on Mount Saint Victor in the Vorarlberg, where he spent 30 years. He was highly venerated in his lifetime by King Charles, son and successor to King Louis. In 883, the emperor founded an Irish monastery, Raetia, for him on the mountain. Two years later Charles deeded by royal charter the revenues of one of his villas near Rottris in the Voralberg to the monastery for a hospice for Irish pilgrims. Here 12 pilgrims could be accommodated on their way to Rome.
When he was denouncing the sins of some godless peasants, one of them struck and killed him with a scythe; hence, he is venerated as a martyr.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: