Golden Legend – Saint Amande

Article

Of Saint Amande, and first the interpretation of his name.

Amande is as much to say as amiable, for he had in him three things that make a man amiable. The first is to be courteous and gracious in company, as Solomon saith in his Proverbs the nineteenth chapter: Vir amabilis ad societatem. The second is to be honest in conversation, as it is said of Esther, Esther secundo. Quod omnibus oculis amabilis videbatur: The third is to be virtuous in faith of prowesse, as it is said in the book of Paralipomenon the second chapter: Saul and Jonathas amabiles et decori.

Of the Life of Saint Amande.

Saint Amande was born of noble father and mother. On a time he entered into a monastery, and, as he walked and went in the church, he found a great serpent, whom by the virtue of his prayer and with the sign of the cross, he made him to issue out and to enter into the great pit out of which he never issued after. And after Saint Amande came to the sepulchre of Saint Martin and there abode fifteen years, where he lived with barley bread and water, and ware always the hair. After that he went to Rome and went into the church of Saint Peter, and abode there by night. The keeper of the church put him out right rudely; and Saint Peter appeared to him as he lay and slept tofore the church door, and sent him in legation into France, where he found the king of Dagobert, the which he reproved strongly of his sins. The king was angry and put him out of his realm. After, when the king had no son he made his prayers to God that he might have one, and God sent him one, and when he was born, he thought much, and sorrowed who should baptize him, and it came into his mind that he would that Saint Amande should baptize him. Saint Amande was sought and brought to the king, and as soon as he was come, the king fell down to his feet and prayed him that he would pardon him of that he bad trespassed to him, and that he would baptize his son. And Saint Amande granted benignly to the king his request, the first petition, but not the second request, for he dreaded that he would have desired about some worldly occupation or secular things, of which he would not gladly intermeddle, and went his way and departed; but at the last, as vanquished by the prayers of the king, he granted him. And thus then as he baptized the child, and no man answered, the child with a clear voice said and answered: Amen. And after this the king promoted him to be bishop of Sens. And when he saw that the word of God in predication was despised and not set by, he went into Gascony, where he saw a juggler who mocked his words. The fiend took him, and with his own teeth he tare him, and confessed that he had done injury to the person of God, and anon died miserably.

Now it happed on a time that he washed his hands, and a bishop made the water to be kept, of which water a blind man had his sight again. It happed that in that place, by the will of the king, he would edify a monastery of monks; then a bishop that was of the next city took it grievously and was much angry therewith, and commanded his servants to cast him out or else they should slay him. And anon they came to him and said to him, in guile and treason, that he should go with them and they would show to him a place apt and good, and water enough, for to edify upon a monastery for monks. And he that knew their malice and their evil purpose went with them unto the top of an high mountain whereas they would have slain him, and he desired much the martyrdom for the love of our Lord, and for to come in his company; but anon suddenly descended from heaven such a tempest of rain and of orage, that it covered all the mountain so much that that one could not see that other, and supposed to have died suddenly. And they fell down to the earth upon their knees, praying him to pardon them, and that they might depart thence alive. For whom he put himself to prayer, and anon the storm was appeased and the weather fair. They went to their place, and Saint Amande thus escaped from this peril. And many other miracles he showed and did in the honour of our Lord, and finished in holy virtues his life, and departed out of this world in the time of Eraclius, the emperor, about the year of our Lord six hundred and fifty-three.