St. Bavo, Bavo of Ghent. Born in Brabant near Liege, c. 589; died near Ghent in between 624 and 654. The young Bavo, christened Allowin, led a wild life as a wealthy landowner. His only aim in life was to satisfy his every desire without regard to justice or truth. Then his beloved wife died, and he realized how selfish his life had been. Bavo began his conversion to Christ by giving away all his property, including his estate at Ghent which he offered to Saint Amandus, who built a monastery there. Bavo begged to enter it, and began a course of canonical penance. So great was his self-mortification that after his death the name of the abbey was changed from St. Peter's to St. Bavo's. The austerities of monastic life soon were not enough to satisfy Saint Bavo's desire to discipline the body and soul. He begged Amandus to give him permission to live as a hermit. When permission was given, at first Bavo made his dwelling in a hollow tree. Later he built a tiny cell, near Ghent in the forest.
St. Bavo is patron of the dioceses of Ghent and Haarlem (Holland).
Feasr day: 1 October.
See: Hieronymus Bosch St. Bavo.
The Oxford Dictionary of Saints (Oxford Paperback Reference) by David Hugh Farmer. Oxford University Press, 2003.