Lebuin or Liafwin
Lebuin Or Liafwin a noted colleague of Gregory in his mission among the inhabitants of Friesland. According to his painstaking biographer, Hunebald, a monk of the convent of Elnon in the 10th century (in Surius, 6:277, and in Pertz, 2:360), Lebuin was a native of Brittany, and joined Gregory at Utrecht, having been directed to do so in a dream. Gregory sent him on a mission to the neighboring people, and gave him the Anglo-Saxon Marchelin or Marcellin as assistant. They preached with great success, and soon established a church at Wulpen, on the eastern shore of the Yssel, and another at Deventer. These churches afterwards closing by an invasion of the Saxons, Lebuin courageously resolved to go as a missionary among that nation, and went to Marklo, one of their principal cities; later he went further north, towards the Weser, and there was well received by an influential chief named Folkbert, who seems to have been a Christian. Folkbert advised him not to visit Marklo during the reunion which was held there yearly to discuss the general interests of the nation, but to conceal himself in the house of one of his friends, Davo. Lebuin, however, did not abide by this counsel, and went to the assembly. Being aware how "omnis concionis illius multitude ex diversis partibus coacta primo suorum proavorum servare contendit instituta, numinibus videlicet suis vota solvens ac sacrificia," he appeared in the midst of the assembled warriors dressed in his priestly robes, the cross in one hand and the Gospel in the other, and announced himself as an envoy of the Most High, the one true God and creator of all things, to whom all must turn, forsaking our idols: "but," said he, at the close of his address, "if you wickedly persist in your errors, you will soon repent it bitterly, for in a short time there will come a courageous, prudent, and strong monarch of the neighborhood who will overwhelm you like a torrent, destroying all with fire and sword, taking your wives and children to be his servants, and subjecting all who are left to his rule." This discourse greatly excited the Saxons against him; but one of them, Buto, took his part, and Lebuin was permitted to depart unharmed. He now returned to Friesland, and rebuilt the church of Deventer, where he remained until his death. When Liudger built a third time the church which had been again destroyed during an invasion of the Saxons in 776, the remains of Lebuin were discovered. Lebuin is not to be mistaken for Livin, the pupil of Augustine, who went to evangelize Brabant towards the middle of the 7th century. The biography of Livin, believed to have been written by Boniface, cannot for a moment be considered as referring to the apostle of Germany. It is full of legends, and of no historical value. See F. W. Rettberg, K. Gesch. Deutschlands, 2:405, 536, 509. — Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 8:266; Wetzer u. Welte, Kitchen- Lexikon, 6:401 sq.