St. Gall was born in Ireland soon after the middle of the sixth century, of pious, noble, and rich parents. When St. Columban left Ireland, St. Gall accompanied him into England, and afterward into France, where they arrived in 585. St. Columban founded the monastery of Anegray, in a wild forest in the diocese of Besançon, and two years afterward another in Luxeuil.
Being driven thence by King Theodoric, the Saints both withdrew into the territories of Theodebert. St. Columban, however, retired into Italy, but St. Gall was prevented from bearing him company by a grievous fit of illness. St. Gall was a priest before he left Ireland, and having learned the language of the country where he settled, near the Lake of Constance, he converted to the faith a great number of idolaters. The cells which this Saint built there for those who desired to serve God with him, he gave to the monastery which bears his name.
A synod of bishops, with the clergy and people, earnestly desired to place the Saint in the episcopal see of Constance; but his modesty refused the dignity. He died in the year 646.
Reflection.—”If any one would be My disciple,” says Our Saviour, “let him deny himself.” The denial of self is, then, the royal road to perfection.