Saint Medard of Noyon, Bishop

This weeks Saint of the Week is Saint Medard, (456-545).  Living in France in the 5th and 6th centuries, Medard and his twin brother Gildard, who would become Archbishop of Rouen, are both venerated saints. Further proof of the maxim that if you’re in close contact with a Saint, you’ve got a great chance of becoming one yourself!  The son of a French Nobleman, Saint Medard was a pious child and a very good student.  He was sympathetic to the poor and often gave things away to them, including his dinner, much to the chagrin of his father.  On one occasion he gave the horse he was riding to a poor peasant who had lost his.  Legend states that while walking home following this act of charity, he was shielded from torrential rain by an eagle that hovered above him.  When Saint Medard’s father took inventory of his stable at the end of the day, he had the same number of horses he had at the start of the day, despite loss of the one given away by his son!

This account caused Saint Medard to become the Patron Saint against storms and bad weather and created a custom similar to Groundhog day here in the United Sates.  His feast day is on June 8th and the custom states, “Should Saint Medard's day be wet, it will rain for forty yet”.  But, if it is sunny and dry on Saint Médard's day, so will the next 40 days be dry. 

Saint Medard was ordained into the priesthood when he was 33 years old and ordained Bishop of Vermand, despite his vehement reluctance to accept the position.  He moved his see from Vermand, which was frequently besieged by marauding barbarians from the North to the fortress city of Noyon. The two diocese remained combined until 1146.  

To this day an annual scholarship called the “Rosire," or “Feast of the Rose Queen," is awarded to a virtuous young woman living in the area of Salency, France; a custom started by Saint Medard, while Bishop.  In the annual ceremony, the recipient “is escorted by 12 boys and 12 girls to the church, where she is crowned with roses and given a gift of money”.  

Saint Medard died an old man of natural cases. King Clothier visited the Saint on his deathbed, seeking his blessing.  After his death, the King insisted Saint Medard be buried at the Capital City of Soissons, the site is now a Benedictine Abbey called the Abbey of Saint-Médard de Soissons. Saint Medard remains one of France’s most venerated Saints and a town in northern France is named Saint-Médard-en-Jalles.

Feast day:  June 8th

Patron of: Good weather, Against bad weather.

Prayer to Saint Medard

Jesus My Lord, Saint Medard served as a bishop during very difficult times, and his long life of spiritual leadership created a tremendous impression on the people. Because of his patronage against bad weather, I ask him to intercede for me during the storms of my life as well as the storms in nature. Protect me and my home. And Lord, help the victims of hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and other natural disasters. Send in more helpers and multiply the supplies that are needed for their aid. You calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee; deliver us from the storms that are raging around us now. Saint Medard, pray for us. Amen.

Saint Medard, pray for us!

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