The patron saint of motorcyclists, St. Columbanus of Bobbio founded several monasteries in Europe. He was born in Leinster Ireland around 543 and is celebrated by a feast day on Nov. 24. Educated at Bangor, he left Ireland at age 50 to set up a monastery at Annegray at the request of King Childebert of Burgundy.

After founding monasteries at Fountaines and Luxeil, Columbanus critiqued poor Burgundian morals and became controversial. Around age 60, he went to Allemani, Switzerland to preach then fled to Italy where he founded the Bobbio monastery in 613.

Columbanus is depicted as a bearded man wearing a cowl holding a book in an Irish satchel standing in the company of wolves. He also is pictured taming a bear. His monasteries were known for strict adherence to rules and reliance on corporal punishment. Columbanus also was known for writing poetry. He died at Bobbio in 615.