Saint Columban was Ireland's great missionary to Europe. He was classicly taught, lived as a hermit monk, and after 12 years in seclusion and prayer, traveled to Europe with 12 companions to preach the faith. He established many monasteries, the greatest being Bobbio Abbey which adhered to a disciplined, austere religious life. Columban wrote treatises on penance, poetry, the monastic rule and against Arianism. He died at Bobbio Abbey.