When the monk Theudegesil almost completely cut off his finger, in a field, in full view of all the monks (many of whom were still living when the miracle was recounted by Jonas of Bobbio), St. Columbanus reattached and healed his finger completely.
Yes, St. Columbanus says, “Just spit on it, and it’ll be okay.”
Please note that Abbot Jonas lists this among St. Columbanus’ more minor miracles, as nothing too important or astonishing happened.
From Vita S. Columbani, by Jonas of Bobbio (aka Jonae Abbatis Elnonensis). Migne, Patrologiae Latinae, vol. 87, 1025. Translated in The Life of St. Columban, ed. Dana Carleton Munro, Department of History of the University of Pennsylvania, 1895. Slightly adapted by me.
- If we try to include some things which may seem of little importance, the goodness of the Creator (Who is equally merciful in very small matters and in great, Who does not delay to turn His pitying ear to trifling details, just as in the very important matters He grants the desire of the suppliant) will be manifest to those who bawl envious detractions.
For on a certain day when the excellent man of God had gone with the brethren to cut the harvest near Calmem, which is called Baniaritia, and they were cutting the crop while the south wind blew, one of them, named Theudegisil, happened to sever his finger with a sickle, and the finger hung by only a small strip of skin.
[Theudegisilus nomine, digitum falce praecideret, nec prorsus haereret praeter pellis parvo retentaculo.]
The man of God, seeing Theudegisil standing apart, commanded him to continue the work with his companions. But when the latter told the reason for his actions, Columban hastened to him, and with his own saliva restored the wounded finger to its former health.
[celer ille ad ipsum properat, digitumque illitum saliva pristinae sanitati statim reddit.]
Then he ordered Theudegisil to make haste and put forth more strength.
The latter, who had grieved for a long time over his severed finger, joyfully began to work doubly hard and to press on before the others in cutting the grain.
Theudegisil told us this and showed us his finger.
[Theudegisilus narravit, digitumque monstravit.]
A similar thing happened on another occasion at the monastery of Luxeuil.
- For a parish priest named Winnoc, the father of Babolen who is now abbot of Bobbio, went to St. Columban. The latter was in the forest with the brethren, getting a supply of wood. When Winnoc arrived, and was watching with wonder how they split the trunk of an oak so easily with their mallet and wedges, one of the wedges flying from the trunk cut him in the middle of the forehead, so that great waves of blood ran from his veins. The man of God, Columban, seeing the blood flowing and the bone uncovered, immediately fell on the ground in prayer, then rising, healed the wound with his saliva, so that hardly a sign of a scar remained.