Médard of Noyon, St. (Died 545) In Christian legend, patron saint of brewers, peasants, and prisoners. Invoked on behalf of idiots and lunatics; also for fruitfulness, both in childbearing and the fields, for rains and vineyards, and against bad weather and toothache. Feast, 8 June. Once a sudden shower fell, wetting everyone in the town except St. Médard, who remained perfectly dry, for an eagle had spread its wings over him. Ever after he was called maître de la pluie (master of the rain), and it was believed that if it rained on Médard’s feast day, it would rain for 40 days thereafter. Médard founded the Rose Festival at Salency in which the most virtuous girl in the parish received a crown of roses and a purse of money. De Maupassant’s tale “Le Rosier de Madame Husson,” which Benjamin Britten used as the basis for his opera Albert Herring, describes the festival.
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow
Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante