Pictorial Lives of the Saints – Saint Omer, Bishop

[Saint Omer, Bishop]Saint Omer was born toward the close of the sixth century, in the territory of Constance. His parents, who were noble and wealthy, gave great attention to his education, but, above all, strove to inspire him with a love for virtue. Upon the death of his mother, he entered the monastery of Luxen, whither he persuaded his father to follow him, after having sold his worldly goods and distributed the proceeds among the poor. The father and son made their religious profession together. The humility, obedience, mildness, and devotion, together with the admirable purity of manners, which shone forth in every action of Saint Omer, distinguished him among his saintly brethren, and he was soon called from his solitude to take charge of the government of the Church in Terouenne. The greater part of those living in his diocese were still pagans, and even the few Christians were, through a scarcity of priests, fallen into a sad corruption of manners. The great and difficult work of their conversion was reserved for Saint Omer. The holy Bishop applied himself to his task with such zeal that in a short time his diocese became one of the most flourishing in France. In his old age, Saint Omer became blind, but that affliction did not lessen his pastoral concern for his flock. He died in the odor of sanctity, while on a pastoral visit to Wavre, in 670.