Saint Deicolus and the Boar, Johann Wolfgang Baumgartner
|Died||January 18, 625|
|Venerated in||Eastern Orthodox Church|
|Major shrine||Lure, France|
|Attributes||Ray of light; depicted as a hermit; a wild boar hunted by King Clothaire takes refuge at his feet|
Saint Deicolus (Déicole, Dichuil, Deel, Deicola, Deicuil, Delle, Desle, Dichul, Dicuil) (c. 530 – January 18, 625) is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church and by the Orthodox Church as a pre-Schism Western saint. He was an elder brother of Saint Gall. Born in Leinster, Deicolus studied at Bangor.
He was selected as one of the twelve disciples to accompany St. Columbanus in his missionary enterprise. After a short stay in England he journeyed to Gaul, in 576, and laboured with St. Columbanus in Austrasia and Burgundy. At Luxeuil he was unwearied in his ministrations, and yet was always serene and even joyous.
When St. Columbanus was expelled by Theuderic II, in 610, St. Deicolus, then eighty years of age, determined to follow his master, but was forced, after a short time, to give up the journey, and established a hermitage at a nearby church dedicated to St Martin in a place called Lutre, or Lure, in the Diocese of Besançon, to which he had been directed by a swineherd.
Until his death, he was thenceforth the apostle of this district, where he was given a little church and a tract of land by Berthelde, widow of Weifar, the lord of Lure. Soon a noble abbey was erected for his many disciples, and the Rule of St. Columbanus was adopted. Numerous miracles are recorded of St. Deicolus, including the suspension of his cloak on a sunbeam and the taming of wild beasts.
Clothaire II, King of Burgundy, recognised the virtues of the saint and considerably enriched the Abbey of Lure, also granting St. Deicolus the manor, woods, fisheries, etc., of the town which had grown around the monastery. Feeling his end approaching, St. Deicolus gave over the government of his abbey to Columbanus, one of his young monks, and retreated to a little oratory where he died on 18 January, about 625.
His feast is celebrated on 18 January. So revered was his memory that his name (Dichuil), under the slightly disguised form of Deel and Deela, is still borne by most of the children of the Lure district. His Acts were written by a monk of his own monastery in the tenth century.
His cultus was strong in the area of Lure well into the nineteenth century, when children's clothes were washed in a spring associated with St. Deicolus that was reputed to cure childhood illnesses.
- Grattan-Flood, William. "St. Deicolus." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 13 May 2013
- Butler, Alban. The Lives of the Saints, Volume I, 1866
- Ó Riain-Raedel, Dagmar. ‘Deicolus (d. c.625)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004