Médard of Noyon, St.
MÉDARD OF NOYON, ST.
Bishop; b. Salency (Picardy), France, early sixth century; d. c. 557. The son of a Frankish nobleman and a Gallo-Roman mother, Médard studied in Salency and Tournai. He succeeded Bp. Alomer of Vermand (c. 530). According to a highly suspect account by Bp. Radbod of Noyon (c. 1180), Médard moved the episcopal see to noyon because of barbarian attacks and at the same time took over the Diocese of Tournai; the two sees were united until 1114. Médard accepted the monastic vows of Queen radegunda; his career was noteworthy for active missionary work. The Feast of the Roses, on which each year the most exemplary maiden of Salency received a crown of roses in church, is considered to be his invention. His cult was widespread in the Middle Ages and was rewarded with many miracles, especially in Soissons, where his relics are preserved. He is a patron of agriculture and horticulture, and is invoked in cases of toothache and migraine. Even today his feast is the occasion of prayers for good weather. He is represented with mouth open, laughing (le ris de St. Médard ), teeth showing; a heart recalls his charitable activities.
Feast: June 8, Sept. 9, Oct. 1.
Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum June 2 (1863) 72–104. Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Auctores antiquissimi (Berlin 1826–) 4.1:44–48; 4.2:67–73, Vita. Patrologia Latina, ed. j. p. migne, 271 v., indexes 4 v. (Paris 1878–90) 150:1499–1518. Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiquae et mediae aetatis, 2 v. (Brussels 1898–1901; suppl. 1911) 5863–74. l. maÎtre, "Le Culte de S. Médard," Annales de Bretagne, 15 (1900) 292–298. e. mÜller, "Die Nithard-Interpolation und die Urkunden-und Legendenfälschungen im St. Medardus-Kloster bei Soissons," Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde 34 (1908) 681–722. The Book of Saints (4th rev. ed. New York 1947) 417. a. baudoux, Les Saints patrons de Noyon (Compiègne 1951) 3. l. rÉau, Iconographie de l'art chrétien, 6 v. (Paris 1955–59) 6:944–945. d. attwater, A Dictionary of Saints (new ed. New York 1958) 187. j. lecomte, S. Médard, son tombeau, ses reliques (Chauny 1959). a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, rev. ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4 v. (New York 1956) 2:502–503.