He was born about 470 in Salency in
the Province of Picardy,
France, studied near what is called Saint-Quentin today, where he
became friends with Eleutherius of Tournai. St. Medard was known for
his care of the poor even before he became the Bishop of Saint-Quentin.
As bishop he gave protection to Queen Radegund, who left her husband,
King Clotaire, who was most cruel. She began her religious life at this
time under the Saint's tutelage. The Saint died at the age of 90 when
King Clotaire instructed that the Saint's remains be moved to Soissons.
He was known for laughter and smiling, especially in his youth, so he
is invoked against toothache. His name is of Germanic origin and means
honored and daring. The above image is an Italian one, a popular
traditional pious picture of the 19th century.
His mother was of Roman descent;
before his ordination and entrance into the religious life it is
thought that he oversaw vineyards on lands owned by his wealthy family
until he reached the age of 33. The only image we could locate
depicting him with grapes, one of his symbols, is copyrighted. However
we have a lovely painting of unknown origin, linked below.
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