St. Bertin the Great
September 5, Saint


Educated at the Abbey of Luxeuil, France known for its strict adherence to the Rule of Saint Columban, a Rule known for its austerity. Though he was not a novice, Bertin felt called to follow the Rule with the monks at the abbey; when grown, he took the cowl. In 639, Bertin and two other monks, Mommelinus and Ebertram, joined Saint Omer in evangelizing the people in Pas-de-Calais, a region renowned for idolatry and immorality. The evangelists had no great success, but they built a monastery in honor of Saint Mommolin. Bertin served as its first abbot, a calling that lasted the remaining 60 years of his life. He sent monks to found other monasteries in both France and England, and he travelled constantly to teach and evangelize. His monastery served as an example to the locals, and brought many to the faith; 22 of its monks have been canonized. During a life that spanned nearly a century, Bertin was known for holiness and severe self-imposed austerities. On his death, the monastery was re-dedicated to him.

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