Saint of the Day ~ June 8

SAINT MÉDARD (c.456-545), bishop – Patron saint for good weather, the poor and prisoners

Today, the Church honors Saint Médard, one of the most renowned prelates of the Church of France in the late fifth and the sixth centuries.

Médard was born in the town of Salency in the Picardy region of Northern France to a pious and noble family about the year 456. From his youth, Médard was known for his piety and learning, quenching his deep hunger for knowledge by studying Sacred Scripture as well as philosophy and the sciences.

His practice of Christian virtue was evident as a youth, and his commitment to the poor so pronounced that he had difficulty in walking by a poor man in the street and not giving him whatever he had – either his cloak or shoes, and, as one story tells it, even his horse.

He was ordained a priest in the year 490 at the age of thirty-three, and was consecrated bishop of Vermand in the year 530.  He moved his episcopal see (diocese) of Vermand to Noyon a year later, since Noyon was a city better defended against invasion – the Huns and Vandals being the greatest threats during that period of time. In 532, Bishop Médard was also appointed to the episcopal see of Tournai, thereby uniting the two dioceses under his pastoral care without depriving either city of its episcopal title.

At Tournai, where the pagans were numerous, he was oftentimes treated with disrespect and dishonor, and was often threatened with death. Nevertheless, Bishop Médard persevered in reaching out to the barbarians and catechizing them to such an extent that he had great success in converting most of the pagans in the area to Christianity.

On June 8, 545, Bishop Médard died of an illness in his see of Noyon at the age of eighty-nine. He had such a tremendous effect upon the people of France that it is written that the entire kingdom mourned his passing, and the king built a Benedictine abbey over his sepulcher near Soissons in Northern France.

We commemorate his feastday on June 8.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com and culturalcatholic.com, magnificat.ca and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for Pastors ~ bishop)

“Lord God, You counted Saint Médard among Your holy pastors, renowned for faith and love which conquered evil in this world. By the help of his prayers, keep us strong in faith and love and let us come to share his glory.

“Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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