- Medardus of Noyon
Son of Nectardus, a Frankish noble, and Protagia, Gallo-Roman nobility. Brother of Saint Gildardus, Bishop of Rouen, France. Pious youth and excellent student, educated at Saint-Quentin. Often accompanied his father on business to Vermand, France and to Tournai, Belgium, and frequented the schools there. Ordained at age 33.
Reluctant bishop of Vermand in 530; in 531, he moved his see to Noyon, France, which was further from border clashes. Bishop of Tournai in 532; the union of the two dioceses lasted until 1146. Gave the veil to Queen Saint Radegunde. Medardus was one of the most honoured bishops of his time, his memory has always been venerated in northern France, and he soon became the hero of numerous legends.
Each year on his memorial the Rosiere is awarded to the young girl who has been judged the most virtuous and exemplary in the region of Salency, France; she is escorted by 12 boys and 12 girls to the church, where she is crowned with roses and given a gift of money. This is a continuation of a yearly stipend or “scholarship” he apparently instituted when bishop.
Legend says that when he was a child, Medard was once sheltered from the rain by a hovering eagle. This is his most common depiction in art, and led to his patronage of good weather, against bad weather, for people who work the fields, etc. Legend has it that if it rains on his feast day, the next 40 days will be wet; if the weather is good, the next 40 will be fine as well. He was also depicted as laughing aloud with his mouth wide open; this led to his patronage against toothache.
- 8 June 545 at Noyon, France of natural causes
- relics at the royal manor of Crouy at the gates of Soissons, France
- a Benedictine abbey was built over his tomb
- against bad weather
- against imprisonment
- against sterility
- against toothache
- for good harvests
- for good weather
- for rain
- imprisoned people
- mentally ill people
- being sheltered from rain by an eagle or other large bird
- holding a citadel
- laughing aloud with his mouth wide open
- leaving footprints in stone
- with two horses at his feet
- Book of Saints, by the Monks of Ramsgate
- New Catholic Dictionary
- Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints