Spirituality for Today – May 2016 – Volume 20, Issue 10

Saint of the Month
Columba of Rieta – May 20

A illustration of Saint Columba of RietaSaint Columba of Rieta

Columba was destined for a saintly life. She was originally named Angelella, because it is said that angels surrounded the house in which she was born. But when a white dove appeared over her baptismal font, her name was changed to Columba. Her generous parents were devoted to Christian charity, giving away so much of what they had that the family was left in a precarious financial condition as a result.

As she grew older, Columba sought God's guidance. One day, she received a vision in which the Lord was seated on a throne attended by Saints Jerome, Dominic and Peter of Verona. She knew this was confirmation that she should devote her life to God. She made a vow of virginity and planned to become a nun. Her parents, however, had arranged for Columba's marriage to a young man whom her brothers believed could save the family fortune. When Columba refused the match, her brothers were so enraged that one of them tried to kill her. Still, Columba managed to live as a holy recluse in her father's house while experiencing dramatic visions.

Finally, at age 19, she was received into the third Order of St. Dominic. Meanwhile, her fame as a holy person spread, and twice while leading pilgrimages, some locals tried to abduct her for her blessed presence. She was eventually made abbess of a convent in Perugia, where she was known for her kindness to her nuns. Later, her admonitions that the town be dedicated to Saints Dominic and Catherine saved it from the plague. When Columba died, she appeared in a vision to her friend, the future Blessed Osanna of Mantua.

O God,
You have brought us the company of angels
in the spirit of friends and family.
Thank You for the lives that are intertwined with mine.
Thank You for steering me away from the roads
I was not meant to travel.
Thank You for the renewal that You grant to me each day.


From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives