Omer of Thérouanne, St.

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Bishop; b. Orval (Aurea Vallis ), near Coutances, France; d. Thérouanne, Sept. 1, c. 670. Omer (or Otmar, whence the Latin, Audomarus ) and his father Friulph, who were perhaps of Saxon origin, entered the Columban Abbey of luxeuil after the death of Omer's mother, Domitta. When named bishop of Thérouanne (c. 63540), Omer took the suggestion of St. acharius of noyon and sent for three other Luxeuil monks, SS. Momelinus, bertinus, and Ebertramnus, to help him in his work of completing the conversion of the peoples of his diocese. Momelinus governed the original abbey they built near Sithiu until 660, when he was elevated to the episcopacy of Noyon-Tournai. Then Bertinus succeeded as abbot. Having received several properties from a certain Adroald, Omer gave Bertinus the island of Sithiu in the River Aa, as a new site for the abbey (later saint-bertin) and also the church of Sainte-Marie, which he had built on a neighboring hill. Omer was buried in this church, after granting Sithiu a privilege of immunity. The city of Saint-Omer was later built on the slopes of the hill between these two shrines.

Feast: Sept. 9.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum Sept. 3:384417. Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum (Berlin 1826) 5:729764. o. bled, "Les Reliques de St. Omer," Mémoires de la Société des Antiquaires de la Morinie 32 (191420) 1112. g. coolen, "Saint Colomban et Saint Omer," Mélanges colombaniens (Paris 1950) 361375. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, rev. ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4 v. (New York 1956) 3:516517.

[g. coolen]