"Columban is one of the Fathers of Europe": quote (1950) by Robert Schuman, one of the founders of current Europe
Saint Columban (c. 540 - 615) is an Irish monk of the early Middle Ages, one of the men of Christian Europe, built on monastic foundations throughout Gaule to the north of Italy. The symbolic example of the city of St. Gallen in Switzerland, named after one of his Irish companions who remained there as a hermit in 612, where an abbey and a big city were established.
His letters to the kings and popes of the time, his instructions and poems and the Vita Columbani written 25 years after his death show his spiritual commitment and his inner quest to meet men of all conditions but also reveal a perfect mastery of the arts liberals, a humanist and a visionary where, as in this letter written to Pope Gregory the Great about 604 cited by historians, he is one of the first to see Europe as a political entity.
His exemplary elevation of spirit can still be pondered today, especially when he writes to Nantes in 610: "If you take away freedom, you take away dignity." ».
The Via Columbani offers to visit this forgotten heritage while offering the opportunity for deep inner reflections to the rhythm of the march and unforgettable encounters with people, cultures and landscapes, complementary wealth of Europe throughout national routes and regional totaling 8000km across 20 regions of 9 different countries.