Joseph Marmion was born in Dublin in 1858. He entered Holy Cross seminary in this city in 1874 and was ordained priest in Rome in 1881. He became a Benedictine monk in 1886 in the abbey of Maredsous with an Irish name, Columba. Elected as Abbot in 1909, he remained the Abbot of Maredsous until his death in 1923.
A real man of God, a monk assiduous in prayer and concerned to obey in everything, Dom Marmion was a kind-hearted apostle, eager to spread widely the joyful message of our filial adoption in Jesus Christ. We can find an echo of this in his three main books : Christ, the life of the Soul, Christ in his Mysteries, Christ, the Ideal of the Monk.
Since 29 April 1963, his body has lain in St Gregory’s Chapel in the Abbey Church.
Diocesan proceedings for the beatification of this great servant of God began in Namur on 7th February 1957 and finished in Maredsous on 20th December 1961.
On 28 June 1999, the heroic virtues and the saintly reputation of the Venerable Columba Marmion were proclaimed in front of the Pope John-Paul II by the Prefect of the Congregation for Saints in Rome. With the affirmation of the doctors, this congregation has accepted the miraculous nature of a healing due to Dom Columba Marmion’s intercession.
Dom Marmion was beatified in Rome on 3rd September 2000, at the same time as Pope John XXIII (+ 1963), Pope Pius IX (+ 1878), Mgr Tommaso Reggio (Archbishop of Genova + 1901), and the priest Gugliemo Chaminade (+1850).