St Severinus walked into the world out of nowhere in the mid-5th century, clearly well-born and highly educated, as he was fluent in several languages. There is no record of him before appearing along the Danube River, preaching Christianity. Some have suggested he came from southern Italy, while others claim he originated from northern Africa. He refused to ever speak of his past or where he’d come from. He simply set about his life’s work of bringing people to Christ.
Given the gift of prophesy, Severinus purportedly warned the people of Astura, Austria, that Attila the Hun was going to attack, and those who listened were able to escape before his arrival. He created refugee centers for those fleeing the invasion, and founded several monasteries to preserve knowledge and re-establish Christianity in the ruined region.
Severinus spent his life in fasting, prayer, and mortification, as well as feeding the hungry and ransoming captives from prison. His mysterious past and lifelong dedication to spreading the Gospel makes him the focus of this week’s Conspirator Spotlight.
Image credit: Public domain via Wikimedia