Saint of the Day – 3 January – Saint Blitmund of Bobbio (Died 660) Monk, Abbot, Founder of Monasteries and Churches, miracle-worker. Born in the late 6th Century in the Dauphiné region of modern France and died in 660 of natural causes. Also known as – Blitmund of St-Valéry, Blitmund of Leuconay, Blitmund of Picardië, Blidmundus, Blimond, Blimont, Blimundus, Blithmundus, Blithumund, Blitmond, Gogus.
Blitmund was born as the son of a noble family. As a young man, Blitmund moved to northern France to live as a Hermit along the River Somme in Leucone. In 611 he built a Chapel and two cells in the area where he had settled. He brought a hanged man back to life, which caused the spread of his reputation as a miracle worker and holy man. This, in turn, led to disciples and spiritual students gathering around him and living in a nearby Monastery.
For unexplained reasons, Blitmund lost the use of his legs, he became semi-paralysed, In c 615, his friend and spiritual teacher, St Valery of Leucone (Died 620) by his fervent intercession miraculously healed Blitmund’s infirmity, Blitmund then became a Monk at St Valery‘s Monastery.
In the same year of the death of St Valery and Blitmund’s succession as the Abbot, in c 620, the Monastery was destroyed by local pagans, whereafter, Blitmund led a group of the displaced Monks to Bobbio, in Italy where they joined the Monks in a Monastery which had been established by St Columban, who had been St Valery’s spiritual teacher. St Blitmund and his fellow Monks, became students of St Attalas of Bobbio (Died c 622).
After around seven years in Bobbiop, around 627, Blitmund and a party of his fellow Monks, returned to the area of Leucone, France, where he lived for a year as a Hermit before receiving permission to build another Abbey. He served as its Abbot and made Leucone a site of pilgrimage, piety and learning and a hub for evangelisation that eventually converted the region. The area was later known as Saint-Valéry, and now the village of Saint-Valery-sur-Somme.